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on wildlife

Animal sighting today that I never expected! I was coming back from picking up takeout, and as I was pulling into the driveway I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. Glanced over, and sitting on top of the gate of our backyard fence, staring straight at me, was a bobcat - must have been 30 pounds (at a guess; it looked about three times the size of our ten-pound house cat.)(Indoor kitty, thank goodness!) and it stayed in place long enough for me to see that its black-tipped tail was longer than I expected. After a few seconds it jumped off into the backyard, then up and over the fence and into the row of trees dividing us from our neighbor.

I didn't quite have time to grab my phone to snap a pic...especially what with hyperventilating from excitement. I know bobcats are pretty common everywhere, but all growing up in rural New England I never caught a glimpse. Definitely never thought I'd see one here - we're in the suburbs, a more wooded neighborhood to be sure, and there are forested parks nearby, but there are houses or driveways on all sides here. One of our neighbors saw a coyote in the common drive earlier this summer, but no one's mentioned wildcats.

We've had a lot of (very tame though technically wild) bunnies around here, but haven't seen many in the past month or so...guess I know what's happened to them!

Now I can't stop peeking into the backyard, just checking...


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 18th, 2016 10:24 am (UTC)
That is pretty damned cool! I mean, not for the bunnies, but in general. If that was my father, he'd be out feeding it immediately, and working on taming it.
Sep. 18th, 2016 10:29 am (UTC)
Haaah, well, given we have toddlers in the house, I don't think attracting bobcats would be that sound an idea! (don't believe they're known for attacking people but they're cats, after all, gotta watch out for those opportunistic predators...) The odds of even seeing it again are low, but still...so thrilled to be sharing the neighborhood with a genuine wildcat!
Sep. 18th, 2016 10:58 am (UTC)
That would make no difference to my father. He has cockatoos that tear the garden to pieces. He's spent 30 years taming all the local wildlife until everything comes to him to eat from his hands. Possums, wallabies, bandicoots, dragons, every time of bird, you name it. He's like the meanest tempered, hyper critical, codgery old Disney princess you've ever seen.

Seriously, he wouldn't give a flying fuck if your toddlers got eaten. People? Fuck 'em. But he'd have that bobcat eating out of his hand in a couple of years.

Edited at 2016-09-18 10:59 am (UTC)
Sep. 18th, 2016 08:45 pm (UTC)
He sounds like a slightly terrifying Doctor Dolittle...
Sep. 18th, 2016 07:50 pm (UTC)
Oh WOW, that is super cool; what a neat thing to experience!! :D (Though it cracks me up to no end, since the series I'm currently writing set in your general area has a lynx shifter in it. At least now I know it wouldn't be that weird for people to see wildlife running around in the suburbs!)
Sep. 18th, 2016 08:50 pm (UTC)
Still so happy about it~~! And yeah, if I saw a lynx here I'd assume it was just a big bobcat (...I'd pretty much be right, considering the ongoing debate over where the species lines for Lynx is drawn...) A lot of the suburbs out here are pretty forested, so wildlife is common!
Sep. 19th, 2016 03:07 am (UTC)
WOW! I can't imagine seeing a bobcat in the wild.
Sep. 21st, 2016 02:15 am (UTC)
I know, I never expected to - let alone literally in my backyard! ...Now our entire house keeps checking the yard at random intervals, hoping for a repeat performance...
Sep. 19th, 2016 04:19 am (UTC)
Oooh! Though, with all those trees around your neighborhood, it certainly seems fitting.

So far, all I've seen are rather cool birds, and one brazen field mouse eating roadside blackberries. Oh, and a harbor seal! I envy Chad's whales, and your bobcat. :D
Sep. 21st, 2016 02:19 am (UTC)
With all the trees I expected squirrels and coons, and we're close enough to the lake that even a beaver wouldn't be that surprising - but a wildcat is just !!!! (There are some great birds out here! Even after years I'm still impressed by the Stellar's jays. And at our other place at one time I was out gardening, looked up and saw a male pileated woodpecker on the telephone pole across the street!)

Harbor seals though, awww! And Chad saw whales? I've seen pilot whales off the coast of Maine, but not out here.
Sep. 21st, 2016 03:10 am (UTC)
Apparently whales are fairly frequent in the Possession Sound, where Chad did his deckhand work this summer! I never saw one though. :(

I may miss the common midwestern Blue Jay, assholes that they are, but Stellar's Jays are awesome!
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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