View from the top

IMG_5195Here’s a really neat image of a bobcat kitten photographed at Red River National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters Unit near Bossier City, Louisiana this past Sunday (26Jul14).  Now bobcats aren’t rare by any means, but they are not something I see very often at the Refuge, usually one or two sightings a year, if I’m lucky.

I’ve been concentrating on documenting dragonflies and damselflies at the Refuge this summer. That effort has been pretty successful, but is a story for another day.  Sunday was going to be another dragonfly day.  The temps were supposed to be hot (what do you expect for the end of July in northwest Louisiana?) and I was just going to do a reasonably quick survey and be back to the Visitor Center before it got too hot.

The Chickasaw plums are pretty much done for the year.  Only a few plums left and you have to look hard to find those.  But the trees (more like a tangle of thick bushes) are fully leafed out.  Looking across the open fields most of the plum trees are about the same height.  As I walked along the Orange trail I noticed something brown in top of a plum tree about 30 yards away.  That’s kind of strange.  Probably a bird.  As I got a little closer I could tell it wasn’t a bird, but rather some kind of mammal.  A kitty cat sleeping in the tree?  What would a house cat be doing sleeping in the top of a plum tree.  On occasion I see house cats on the Refuge, but these have always been much closer to the residential areas, which are a good ways off from the Orange trail.

I still couldn’t tell for sure what was in the plum trees, so I took a few pictures and zoomed the viewfinder all the way in.  Looks like a kitty cat.  So I approached closer to get a better view, took a few more pics, studied them, and then realized what it was.  There were actually two bobcat kittens in the top of the plum tree.  Most likely the mom had left them safely tucked away while she went off hunting for some breakfast.

An excellent plan.  The kitties will sleep until mom gets back and then they’ll all have some rabbit. Well, it didn’t quite work out that way.  One kitty stayed in the plum tree and just stared at me trying to get some decent images.  The other kitty disappeared, but I could see branches still moving, so I wasn’t too concerned.

Then I see this kitty climbing onto a taller tree.  The kitty just had to get a better view of this strange large animal taking pictures.   So we stared at each other for a few minutes, with my snapping plenty of pictures.  The kitty didn’t seem the least bit scared, but more curious than anything.

We said our goodbyes, and I continued on the trail looking for dragonflies.  The two bobcat kittens seemed content just waiting around for mom to return.  I never did see her, but found out later that others had reported seeing the mom and her two kittens together in recent days.


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