The Other Day, I Bumped Into This Bobcat . . . . .
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A couple of weeks ago I was out taking photographs very early one morning, just after sunrise. I was standing at the edge of a pond that was surrounded by a thick belt of reeds. The reed belt was about 10-15 feet wide in most places. However, there were a couple of places where the reeds were thinner and where one could get a clear view of the pond. I was at one of those locations and I was trying to photograph a couple of ducks that were swimming nearby.
I was interrupted by rustling in the reeds just to my right. I looked over and suddenly, a Bobcat emerged from the reeds, less than two feet away from me. I could have reached down and petted the cat had I been so inclined. It was a young Bobcat, perhaps a yearling, and it obviously was unaware that I was standing right next to it. I took a couple of steps away from the Bobcat so that I could photograph it. At that moment, the cat noticed me and, startled, it leaped backward a few feet. Then, it turned and looked at me.
It may have been my imagination but I perceived a troubled look on the cat’s face. It seemed to be saying to itself: “what on earth are you doing here?”
Aside from being amusing, I find this photograph to be useful for another reason. It really does a good job of showing off this cat’s conformation. Notice how long its legs are — much longer in proportion to the cat’s body than those of a domestic cat. An adult Bobcat is probably almost twice as tall as a domestic cat. Notice also that the Bobcat’s hind legs are actually longer than its front legs. These long hind legs give this cat prodigious leaping ability. A Bobcat can easily leap 10 feet. Also, take a close look at the cat’s feet. These feet are huge in proportion to the cat’s overall size. Those gigantic feet house long and very sharp claws which endow the Bobcat with superb ability to seize and hold prey. As cute as these animals are, they are also superb predators.
In the days to come I’ll feature more Bobcat photos, including a sequence showing a pair with captured prey.
Image made with a Canon 5Diii, 400 DO, aperture preferred setting, ISO 1600, f5 @ 1/640.