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Before beginning tonight’s post, a quick note. Beginning tomorrow and continuing through January 1, I will feature my 12 favorite photos of 2015. It’s something I did a year ago and enjoyed very much and I thought I’d reprise it this year. Not all of the photos that I am featuring have appeared as images on this blog! There are at least three or four that I have never used, for one reason or another. We’ll begin tomorrow with # 12 and work our way forward from there.
Now, for tonight’s post. I thought I’d seen and done it all as far as Bobcats were concerned but last Friday surpassed everything that had occurred previously. I drove over to Sweetwater Wetlands before dawn and waited until daylight to begin my walk. I was not anticipating meeting more Bobcats, but I hadn’t walked 20 meters when I saw this individual peeking at me from some dense reeds by the wetlands’ path.
Many Bobcats are indifferent to the presence nearby of humans. Not this one, it was quite timid in my presence and quickly ran away after I’d taken just a few photos. I walked on, pleased, thinking that I’d certainly met my Bobcat quota for the day.
I had walked another 100 meters down the path when I saw two additional cats emerging from the reeds. This was a mother cat and her offspring. I’m relatively certain that I photographed this pair previously. In any event, neither of them showed even the least concern that I was observing them. In fact, they treated me as if I was an inanimate object, walking very close to me and ignoring me entirely. I had to back up in order to take this picture of the mother.
The kitten was more difficult to photograph, not because it showed fear in my presence, but because it was so hyperactive. It kept running into the reeds, then popping out, moments later.
After a little while, the mother lay down, totally relaxed, and watched indulgently as her kitten played nearby.
At one point she seemed to forget about the kitten as she watched a bird perched on a low tree branch above her.
Then, suddenly, she began staring at her kitten, watching it with great intensity.
An instant later, she pounced, leaping on her kitten in a mock attack. The two of them play-wrestled for an instant. Then, they ran off into the bushes.
I never tire of photographing these magnificent animals and it seems that the opportunities may continue to present themselves. There appear to be about a half-dozen Bobcats visiting Sweetwater Wetlands from time to time, surprising inasmuch as this is a really small area of perhaps 100 acres in size. My guess is that the cats have been attracted by what perhaps may be an unusually abundant supply of rodents, whose population exploded as a consequence of our wet summer. But, that’s just a guess on my part. Maybe, I’ve just become really adept at finding cats!
Images made with a Canon 5Diii, 400 DO, aperture preferred setting, ISO 3200, f5, shutter speeds varied.