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Pretty kitty: Bobcat on prowl ... in my backyard

See other photos below of feline visitor to author's property
By Zack Miller | Jul 27, 2020
Photo by: Zack Miller A bobcat takes notice of my presence on July 24 in Warren.

Warren — It was a normal, warm, moist Friday night on July 24 in the Miller household.

My wife, Meagan, and I had just put our son, Everett, to bed just after 7 p.m. She headed for the bathroom to shower, while I went out to the kitchen to clean up from dinner — but, more importantly, sit in front of the air conditioner.

Once the dishes were in the dishwasher, I rounded the corner into our bedroom and was met with the surprised, yet excited face of my wife who told me to be quiet as I followed her into the bedroom.

As I caught my breath from the startle I received, she told me to peer out the bathroom window, and what did my wandering eyes see? Well, it sure wasn't Santa Clause's sleigh, but instead a bobcat lying in our grass off to our left behind our shed, between a large bush in our yard, and the other bushes which begin the wooded part of our land.

It sat there licking its right front leg without a care in the world, and as my wife snapped pictures of it on her phone I thought to myself, I know why it is here: namely, a handful of groundhogs that have invaded our property.

About two weeks ago my wife was at the kitchen sink one morning on the weekend. She looked out the window above said sink, and, as she said, saw an animal — along the lines of a medium-sized dog — jump out from the bushes, followed by a squeal, much like a pig. To the best of my knowledge it had caught one of those groundhogs, and came back for more the night we spotted it out our bathroom window.

The bobcat was in for a surprise on this Friday night, however. I went out into our mudroom, grabbed the body of my Canon EOS Rebel T6, clicked on my 300-millimeter lens and slowly opened our front door, which is on the opposite side of the house.

I did not put shoes on, as I wanted to muffle my footsteps, and tip-toed onto our back deck, which spans the length of our home, and cocked my camera to hopefully get pictures I'll probably never again get the opportunity to capture.

I slowly stood up and grabbed a couple of shots, in which the bobcat took notice of me, but the feline did not move, as it eyed my every move.

As I saw that it was checking things out, I moved down the deck never taking my eye out of the viewfinder, as I continued to shoot away.

My journey down the deck concluded at the end, and at this point — which you can see in the photos — the bobcat slowly got up into a defensive position, as I was about 20 yards away, but elevated about six to seven feet off the ground, so out of harm's way.

At this point I had all the shots I wanted, and the bobcat slowly retreated back into the bushes and out of sight.

I went into the house to analyze my shots and saw that they were what I wanted, maybe a little blurry, but I had to act fast in the moment.

I still have not seen any groundhogs in the past couple of days, and normally see them gnawing on our grass during the day, so maybe they have moved on, or provided a nice meal to a predator in need.

Needless to say, it was an experience I have never had; namely, to be close to something so dangerous, yet so beautiful. You really never know what nature will throw your way when you least expect it.

Bobcats in Maine

According to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, bobcats are rare in the northwest sections of the state, but common everywhere else.

The MDIFW state: "They are reclusive animals and are rarely observed in the wild, although they appear to be habituating to urban and suburban settings. Deep snow will force bobcats closer to towns and residences in search of accessible food, causing an increase in bobcat sightings and complaints.

Adult male bobcats weigh 20 to 30 pounds and average three feet in length. Females are considerably smaller. Bobcats can be various shades of buff and brown, with dark brown or black stripes and spots on some parts of the body. The tip of the tail is black on top and white underneath. These cats have short ear tufts; the ruffs of hair on the side of the head give the appearance of sideburns."

To read more about bobcats in Maine, click here.

A bobcat. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
A bobcat. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
A bobcat. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
A bobcat. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
A bobcat. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
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Comments (5)
Posted by: Gary W. Skarka | Jul 28, 2020 10:39

Thanks for sharing.  All cats are beautiful, but this one is exceptionally so!

 



Posted by: Katherine Holland | Jul 28, 2020 08:38

Fabulous photos! Thank you so much for sharing them. We had a young bobcat walk down our front walkway 2 weeks ago, and luckily we were in a room with a window that looks over the front yard. So amazing to see such a beautiful creature at close range.



Posted by: Katherine Holland | Jul 28, 2020 08:38

Fabulous photos! Thank you so much for sharing them. We had a young bobcat walk down our front walkway 2 weeks ago, and luckily we were in a room with a window that looks over the front yard. So amazing to see such a beautiful creature at close range.



Posted by: Katherine Holland | Jul 28, 2020 08:38

Fabulous photos! Thank you so much for sharing them. We had a young bobcat walk down our front walkway 2 weeks ago, and luckily we were in a room with a window that looks over the front yard. So amazing to see such a beautiful creature at close range.



Posted by: Valli Genevieve Geiger | Jul 27, 2020 18:34

Gorgeous photos!! Thank you for this.

Valli Geiger

 



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