Taken last spring as the oldest member of our pride adapted to his new desert home, learning to nap and snuggle in this arid landscape. Shot with my iPhone as Sam curled up on my legs as I relaxed on the couch. There are only a few of today’s technologies that it pains me we didn’t have in my youth, having a capable camera in your pocket is one of them.
I’ve been a bit worn out this past month and haven’t been hiking in a couple of weeks, we’ll see how this weekend goes. I’m not completely exhausted like I was when we moved and during the last weeks of Ellie’s life, and I haven’t had to work long hours, rather it’s just that there’s been a lot going on, a lot to learn, and it’s taken a bit out of me. It hasn’t helped that this past week the night owl has been reasserting himself, if only I could sleep like Boo! Thankfully while he was pretty stressed after Ellie died our resident philosopher has been doing better lately.
One more bobcat photo, this is the first one I took of my second ever sighting. Though most of the sky was blue, there were low lying clouds in the east that were frequently changing the light. This morning it worked in my favor as clouds partially obscured the sun as I walked back to check out what initially looked like a coyote-shaped cactus. The clouds not only softened the light but made it more diffuse so that the left side of the cat’s face isn’t in such deep shadow. If I could only choose one I’d prefer the shot where it is peering over the rocks but I also like how here the bobcat’s lovely face is fully shown while it verified I wasn’t a threat before settling in for a nap.
There are moments on the trails you never forget. In the Tetons, when a black bear casually sauntered down the trail towards me. A gorgeous black bear I had to slowly follow up the path at Mount Rainier. A scrum of bighorn sheep rams in Yellowstone. My first Gila monster. My first bobcat, and my second.
I woke up far too early Monday morning and couldn’t get back to sleep so I went out for a short hike at a nearby trailhead. I was nearing the end of the Jane Rau Trail, hoping to see a spiny lizard I had spotted on a previous hike. My eye caught a pair of ears high in the rocks, or so it seemed at first glance, a cactus with the face of a coyote. The lizard wasn’t there but thankfully I had time to walk back to get a better look at the cactus as I couldn’t remember seeing it before. Looking through the telephoto lens I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw eyes looking back at me, the ears were indeed ears, pointed towards the heavens. My second ever bobcat. As the rising sun grew stronger the sleepy cat dropped into the shadows and settled down, time for us to part, time to get ready for work.
Even after a couple of decades of photography I can get a little too excited and not set up the camera or the shot properly. I didn’t realize it at the time but all those years she was training me for this moment, my sweet Em, to photograph beauty looking down upon me. Relax, breathe, enjoy the moment. Miss you Em.