They Do Exist at Our Little House
As I’ve blogged many times, one of the things we love about where we live is the plethora of wildlife.
However, in the 7 years since we built Our Little House and in the 3 years since we’ve been here, I haven’t seen anything but deer, fox, raccoons, armadillos and one dead coyote. Dale has seen a bobcat.
As they say, sometimes you just have to be a little patient.
I turned down our road on Tuesday after doing some errands banking, going to the post office and renewing our vehicle and boat registration. It was about 11 a.m. and while I usually hope to see something – such as a black bear – when coming down the road in the dark, I really wasn’t expecting to see anything in the middle of the day.
Suddenly, a tan figure appeared from below the mountain at the side of the road to my right and quickly ran to the other side of the road. My first thought was a deer, given the color, but my mind quickly switched gears upon noticing the long, curling tail with a white tip.
It turned to look at me and I realized then I was looking in the face of a very large cat.
It was what the department of wildlife will typically tell us doesn’t exist here, a mountain lion, about a mile away from Our Little House.
I stepped on the brakes and watched it run up the side of the mountain until it was completely out of sight. Of course, I didn’t have my camera.
I was in awe of its’ beauty and so excited, as that was the first large cat I had seen outside of a zoo. When I picked up the cell phone to call Dale to tell him the news, I was out of breath. He was excited for me, as he is usually the one on the road, and gets to see the animals.
Since our wonderful dog, Emma, went missing in August and people planted in our minds that she was probably taken by a wild animal, most likely a mountain lion (also known as a cougar or panther), we’ve heard dozens of stories that have grown into local legends.
Some of the reports have them as black, some tan. Other people have had their chickens and dogs go missing, one neighbor even lost two large dogs in one afternoon. The story goes that she heard a yipe from each one and went out to see what happened. No trace of either was ever found, it was that quick. One family in our area reportedly moved back to the big city, Harrison, when a cougar decided to lounge in the summer sun – right in their front yard – while their toddlers played in the back.
I wrote in June about hearing something in the middle of the night that locals tell me is the scream of a large cat and I also heard that same sound the morning Emma disappeared.
A wildlife official has since told me that is also a rural legend.
Until now, no one I personally know had seen a cougar on our road and now I know that there is at least some truth to the local sighting legends and I suspect the department of wildlife are the ones also wrong about the noise they make.
I know now they DO exist here, for sure, I know what I saw and I’m pretty sure I know what I’ve heard.
What is the most exciting wildlife encounter you’ve had?