Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Surprises in Light and Shadow

There was a huge shadow of wings as a bird landed in the yard, not more than fifteen feet from our windows. I jumped up to look out. I don't know what I expected to see. With that wingspan--an eagle? Wouldn't that have been something. But there it was, a big ol' Great Blue Heron stopping by to see how yummy our goldfish might be. As I watched, it suddenly took off in quick flash of blue-gray wings. I didn't think it had seen me, but perhaps it had.
Our cat Bonsai was staring lazily out the sliding doors into the yard. He likes to sit there and watch the birds coming and going. He doesn't like the rainy, wet weather we've been having so he's quite content to just sit and watch. I watched him for a moment, and and then settled back down on the couch, to work on a post about the amazing sun showers we've been having (click on the above photo to see the shiny rain!). Suddenly Bonsai was staring with some alertness and obvious agitation. I teased him a bit, "You're silly, Bon-boy, that big heron is gone. So goofy, always seeing what's not really there." Like all cats, he does respond to cues that are not always visible, or let's face it, real.

Bonsai got up and slunk across the living room in that way that he does when something really does scare him. Was there something out there in the yard, more than his feline imagination? I looked out. There were no more herons to be seen. What was it? What was it? I scanned the edges for details.

Oh, there it was, sitting just inside the border trees, looking right into the yard, the thing that scared away both the heron and our kitty cat, the wild thing that I love the most: a beautiful bobcat. My heart leapt. We hadn't seen one since last April. There it was, perfect little tiger face golden and black striped, barely discernible in the shadow of the trees. I was up again fumbling with the camera, but that cat was out of focus, and moving. I tried, but it was gone.

I ran outside anyway, just in case. I ran to the left toward the garden and flushed a Cooper's Hawk from the trees. No cat. I ran back over to the right, and saw it again hightailing on the other side of the fence.

How much time had elapsed? All of five minutes, if that much. Full of joy and adrenaline. A twinge of disappointment that I didn't get the shot, which was easily assuaged by the image of that wild little face.

Within minutes the heron returned and spent some hunt time by the pond. Bonsai decided it was safer to hide in the bedroom for the rest of the afternoon. I rewrote this post, wondering if you can get excited about this bobcat sighting without the photo? I hope so.
Pam of Tortoise Trail is hosting Good Planets on Saturday. She's asked if people would please send photos early, because she will be busy with festivities on Thanksgiving. If you know what you'll be sending in, send it today! Her email is tortoisetrail at gmail dot com. This will be Pam's last weekend hosting Good Planets, then divajood of Journeys with Jood will pick it up December 2nd. Thanks everyone.
Photo from the original post about sun showers!

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