The wild things that live on my farm are reluctant to tell me, in so many words, how much of my township is included in their daily or nightly beat. —Aldo Leopold
Yesterday afternoon I was sitting at the kitchen table reading A Sand County Almanac when a shadow on the fresh snow outside caught my eye. Thinking it was probably a rabbit, I went to the window for a closer look and was surprised to see a bobcat, unmistakable with his short tail and tufted ears.
I ran downstairs and out the back door thinking he would have disappeared into the trees, but found that he had, instead, circled around the big boulder and car parked in the drive. He stopped short when he saw me and we studied each other across the gravel driveway for a few moments before he turned and vanished.
I followed his tracks and discovered he had come from a neighbor’s yard via a small opening between two latillas in the coyote fence, just barely wide enough for a 15 to 20 pound cat to squeeze through.
Bobcats are not uncommon in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains (I sometimes catch them on my camera trap), but this was only my second sighting in twenty years—the perfect excuse to get out of the house and enjoy the first snow of 2017!