A BOBCAT DAY, EXTENDED BACKYARD & UNCLE BERNIE!

While engaged in my now daily routine of opening the blinds in the living room to greet each new day, I groggily, and without glasses, noticed an animal on the other side of the culdesac. The animal was making its way towards our extended backyard (the oak woodland/chaparral greenspace adjacent to our home) while a crow flew overhead protesting the animals every movement. As I slowly began to realize what I was observing I began to panic since the animal was now moving out of view. Frantically, I tried without success to find my camera which is always at the ready – a photo opportunity lost!

The Bobcat (Lynx rufus) was smaller and more slender than I had anticipated. For some reason I was expecting the bobcat to look more like the stockier Canadian Lynx (Lynx candadensis).  I was nice to see my first bobcat from our own yard. It was my bobcat training session  for bigger and better things on the Santa Rosa Plateau.

A couple hour later I was working in the office which has a view of the front yard. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed something moving past the front porch. I looked up quickly and saw a bobbed tail passing by the window. I immediately jumped up and ran to the front door and quickly opened it. I wanted to see where this bob-tailed creature was heading. As the door rapidly swung open I was drawn to the front walk where four startled eyes were staring back at me. There sat two of the cutest felines I have ever seen and I was just as startled as the two bobcat cubs as I stared back at them. “Camea, camera, where’s the damn camera,” I asked myself. Turning to look for the camera, I noticed mom bobcat come back into view and with that they all disappeared. Finally locating the camera I tried to locate where the bobcats had gone without any luck – another photo opportunity lost! 

Yesterday when returning home after exploring more of our extended backyard I came to a spot below the embankment off our culdesac where several crows were agitated by something. I assumed it was a predator and spent considerable time trying to locate what was causing the crows concern. I didn’t find anything and returned home as the crows continued to scold what was below. I now think there may be a good possibility that the bobcat den is located somewhere in the that area.

The presence of the bobcats also explain some recent yard findings. I have found several quail wing(s) only on the front lawn over the past several weeks. Karter (the correct spelling of Carter our next door cat) occasionally leaves a dead woodrat or headless rabbit on our porch or lawn to show off to VELCRO. But the quail wing(s) indicate that the prey is being utilized for food and not sport, or showing-off in Karters case. There were no plucked feathers associated with the quail wing(s) which might indicate a raptor kill, so I suspect that the quail were probably taken by the bobcat. There are a lot of quail in our area.

I can’t get those wonderful little faces of bewilderment out of my head. They brought an instant smile upon observation and they absolutely define the word, cute!  Hopefully we will have more encounters with this family of bobcats. Next time I will have the camera ready to go. I may have located my bobcat blind – Our front porch in a comfortable chair with a good cup of coffee.

EXTENDED BACKYARD

Yesterday, when I explored our extended backyard which I may rename Bobcat Valley, I took a more macro look at the area. I also needed another Dudleya fix and wanted to see if the Dudleya had come into flower yet. It was a nice hike with a lot of new unexpected discoveries.

The cacti are now in full bloom, the spring grasses are drying out – marking the beginning of the fire season in Southern California. It still amazes me to see so many wildflowers in bloom. I would have expected to see most of them gone by now. Of course, this is an El Nino year it’s all different I am told. They are predicting cooler weather for tomorrow with a possibility of rain and there is new snow on the San Bernardino Mountains dropping to the 4,000 foot level with the storm last week. Being a former native Californian (my sister revoked my “native” status years ago when we moved away), I must now rely on the current neo-natives to advise me with regards to the unusual SoCal weather. Somehow it sounds like the same dialog everyone uses to explain the weather.

Dudleya (The DUDE of SoCal succulents) continues to intrigue me. It’s design is abolutely beautiful and it is a great example of the  Fibonacci ratio. Not to mention that I think it would also make a great Halloween costume.

   
  
  
TOP ROW: Fringed Spineflower & Bee Fly, Rattlesnake Weed, Western Scrub Jay
MIDDLE ROW: Zebra-tailed Lizard, Orange-throated Whiptail Lizard
BOTTOM ROW: Dudley (The DUDE of SoCal succulents), Bee-fight in cholla cactus bloom
Click on photo for larger image

IN MEMORIUM

The Bobcat made its first appearance this morning almost to the minute that Judy’s uncle Bernie passed away in Ohio. Bernie was 95 years old at his passing, he has always been an inspiration to me. He lived most of his adult life in Logan County, Ohio on a small 30 acre farm living off the land and caring for his parents. He married late to a wonderful woman, Daisy who brought her wonderful family into Bernies life. Bernie and Daisy continued to live a simple life, living off the land, enjoying their beautiful surroundings, and enjoying the natural world on the 30 acres that surrounded them. Bernie left this world this morning as he lived, with great dignity and grace. Thank you Bernie for the Bobcats!

Jim, Judy, and VELCRO

2 Responses to “A BOBCAT DAY, EXTENDED BACKYARD & UNCLE BERNIE!”

  1. Molly Daly says:

    I’m so sorry about Uncle Bernie. I bet he did send you those Bobcats.

  2. Jane says:

    Wonderful post. Keep that camera handy! I’d love to see pictures of those bobcat cubs. Makes me think we’re living in the wrong place!!

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