Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mountain Lion

Mountain lions are one of my favorite animals and it has been a dream of mine to see one in the wild during my lifetime. When I was young, I don't recall how old, our extended Cannon family took a trip to Pinto Lake in the Uinta Mountains of northeastern Utah. We had several packhorses bringing in gear and both of my parents, my siblings and many of my cousins were along. In the morning our horses were missing. They were ultimately found most of the way toward, or actually at Mirror Lake where we'd started our hike. One of the horses had been tied to a log and one of them was still hobbled. Dad related that during the night he'd heard a mountain lion scream nearby and surmised that it was the mountain lion that had scared them into leaving our camp. I always wished I'd heard that scream.

About 6 to 10 years ago, in Redlands, jogging down a dirt road right on the edge of Live Oak Canyon, just above where the Brice's live, I saw my mountain lion. It was a brief glimpse, just ahead of me on the dirt road and I didn't know what it was at first. My impression was that it was a kangaroo. That was because its long tail behind it bobbed up and down while it ran, similar to what I imagine a kangaroo tail would look like while a kangaroo is hopping. Then I quickly realized I'd seen a mountain lion. I got quite excited and with some excitement and just a tad bit of trepidation, I plunged into the brush and trees after it to see if I could get another glimpse. Unfortunately, no more glimpses were to be had.
This mountain lion was photographed in the backyard of a family in Redlands, just a few miles and a few years from when I saw mine.
Judy has cousins that live in Levan, Utah, and one of them has dogs that he has used to hunt mountain lions with over the years. At her Mom's funeral, I had a chance to talk to her cousin about the possibility of going out with him and his dogs on a photo expedition. I have no desire to kill a mountain lion, but I would love to tree one and take photos of it. Her cousin was open to my visiting in January, but things happened and I wasn't able to go. I would still love to do that sometime.

In October, while tracing George Q. Cannon's 1849 journey in the Headwaters Wash of the Beaver Dam Mountains, Russel Cannon and I came across mountain lion tracks in the mud near the stream, along with deer tracks.
Just to see the tracks was a thrill. I recall at least one other occasion seeing mountain lion tracks, I believe in the Uinta Mountains.

1 comment:

  1. It's just like to plunge into the brush in hot pursuit of a deadly animal. Crazy! (Should we up your life insurance?)