Saturday, January 5, 2019

The Florida Bobcat

I have a story to tell! I saw something incredible!

bcropIMG_1433

The Florida Bobcat : Lynx rufus

So here goes…

My hubby and I had hiked the day before, a nice long hike on part of the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway (East trail). So the very next day I decided to make a shorter hike on the West side of the Florida trail.

I was about halfway to where I planned to turn around when I stopped to look around for deer.

bobcatIMG_1418

And there it was…this is the first photo I took!

bobIMG_1422

A Bobcat sitting next to a tree with his back to me.

bIMG_1424

I FROZE! And then I heard something. There were 2 hikers coming on another trail in front of the Bobcat and he had all of his attention on them. They were talking and he was watching!

bcropIMG_1431

Look at the backs of his ears!

After I took a few photos…I HAD to….you KNOW I did…. I carefully took out my pepper spray. It was in a little pouch with velcro and it sounded SO LOUD! And I turned back toward the trailhead where my car was parked.

bcropIMG_1432

I had walked a little past him when I stopped and spotted him so I knew when I turned back he would see me. And he did! He turned his head and looked right at me.

bobtailIcropMG_1434

Then he got up and walked away from me. WHEW! After I got down the trail and out of his view, I walked faster and called my hubby. My mouth was SO DRY!!! I was scared but probably more excited than scared!

bIMG_1421

I did a google search when I got home and backing away and leaving slowly was the right thing to do. They do not usually attack but running away might make them pursue you. And according to the website HERE, “Catching even a fleeting glimpse of this secretive and beautiful creature can make anyone's outdoor experience more enjoyable.”

It was an amazing experience and one I’ll never forget!

bIMG_1425

This is the wide view from where I’m standing on a paved trail.

My heart still races just looking at the photos!

Here’s a photo of a Phoebe that we took the day before.

birdbanRDSCN4847

I love the way the light in the background gave a neat effect!

And I want to join the birders too!

birdbanRDSCN4846

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

and I’d Rather B Birdin’

and My Corner of the World HERE .

60 comments:

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

When we lived in Carriage Park in Hendersonville, we had a bobcat, that would walk between our house and the lot next door quite often! You must have been so excited!

Ramblings of a Retired Lady said...

Whew, you did the right thing for sure. I would have been scared too and wanting to get back to my car asap! Great pictures tho!

Barbara said...

WHAT AN ADVENTURE!!!! Thank you for sharing not only your experience with photos, but also the wisdom of what to do when we see a wild animal such as this bobcat. Wowowow!

And the photo you took of the Phoebe is stunning with that background!

Since you brought it to my attention, we have seen Shalom Park as we drive by and yes, some day I will want to check that out. For the time being, our visits to your area are very full with necessary things regarding our move.

You have shared much with your blog posts to make me even more enthusiastic about moving to North Central Florida!

Jeanie said...

Wow -- so glad you knew just the right thing to do. But that would be a bit of a freak out and I really admire that you got the photos! Was he as close as he looked or was your zoom in overdrive because that was a little more near than I would have wished, even being the cat lover I am! That was no Lizzie Cosette!

Phil Slade said...

Wow! I would have loved that experience. I am sure that the Bobcat would have been more scared of you than you of it, but like you say, you weren't for testing that theory.

David Gascoigne said...

This is a truly amazing sighting and one that leaves with more than a touch of envy. In all my years of watching wildlife (since I was eight years old) I have never seen a Bobcat or a Lynx. And I would dearly love to! It's ironic that I have seen felines as rare as Serval in Africa, but never one of these elusive species here. Thank goodness you took so many pictures. This is a sighting you would not wish to be unrecorded and thanks for sharing it with us. I can bask in the vicarious pleasure of your enjoyment even if I wish like hell I had been with you!!

Tom said...

...cute little kitty!

Sandra said...

He or she is a real stunner. He is gorgeous... I think a sighting is rare because they hunt at night. to see one in daylight is a wow moment you will never forget. do you follow KB at Romping and Rolling in the Rockies? she sees Bobcats and last week a mountain lion. I love her adventures with big cats.

Anu said...

Great experience! Great photos! I think that this kind of wild animals fear people – so they don’t attack, but they will go away.

Kate said...

It's awesome that not only did you see the bobcat but also got so many great photos of it! I love the phoebes - they nest at our cabin in Manitoba every summer - actually they raise two sets of kiddos. They always show us their first babies once they've left the nest. They usually sing me to sleep at night and are the first sound I hear in the morning - I love their beautiful call. ^^

Arlene Grimm said...

Wow....great pictures but like you, I would have been scared to death. I am glad you have some pepper spray with you!!

Irma said...

What a great experience this is, and also beautiful photos.
A real wild lynx so comes across in the forest.
Here in Holland, these kinds of animals are only in the zoo.
Best regards, Irma

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

Holy Molie...the experience of lifetime. There are many of these creatures left. You were so lucky. Very cool.

carol l mckenna said...

Fantastic experience and well done photography of the amazing Bobcat! Feathered friends are beautiful too!

Happy Day to you,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)

happyone said...

Wow that is so cool and great that you were able to get such good pictures.
I would have been a bit afraid too but excited to see it too. Good you knew to just back up slowly.

Linda said...

I cannot BELIEVE it!!! I’m so excited for you!! I know it was a thrilling experience even though a rather terrifying one at the same time! And to think you got photos make it even more amazing! That’s one hike I’m sure you are glad you did not miss.
And I must say how I admire your presence of mind in being so calm. You are pretty amazing!

Lynn said...

That was a very exciting walk indeed! Nice pics, glad you're ok:@)

Silver Willow said...

that sure would've scared the crap out of me! They kill humans here in southern CA. :(

bill burke said...

What an experience, priceless! And you got photos which makes it even better.

Prunella Pepperpot said...

What an amazing capture of such a beautiful creature Debbie. We fortunately don't have any dangerous creatures around here. Though an unfortunate few have been trampeled underfoot by cows!!
Have a great weekend :)

Sam I Am...... said...

How lucky you were to see him/her and also lucky you went unscathed although most time animals try to steer clear of us humans.

Sandy said...

Wow!!! That was a sighting for the entire year. I am glad you got away but also with a picture. That is amazing.

Connie said...

Oh, I would have been shaking in my boots! A few years ago I was driving on an isolated highway up in the mountains and I had a cougar jump out in front of my car and stand there staring at me as I slowed to a stop. I was in the car with the windows up and scared sh..less. Your experience hiking out in the open would have done me in. I'm so happy that you were alright.
Here's to a save hiking year.
Connie :)

Ann Thompson said...

Wow, what an experience. Even better that you were able to get some good pictures

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

Oh my goodness! What a large bobcat, Diane! He's beautiful! I'm so glad you are safe and knew what to do. Your photos are fabulous! I saw a bob cat on Skyline Drive once, but we were in our car. ♥

Hootin' Anni said...

I'd be speechless! It's a beauty. Love the little birdie too!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

How exciting, Diane! Bobcats are usually very elusive. You got so many good photos of this one. I've been fortunate to see one a few times here--they move fast!

Happy New Year!

Lorrie said...

What a fantastic adventure, Diane! Seeing such a beautiful creature in the wild is unforgettable. I can imagine you were shaking; I would be, too. Wonderful photos!

RedPat said...

What an amazing experience that was!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

That really WAS quite an experience and not sure if I would have reacted as calmly as you seemed to and be able to get some photos too! Glad no one was injured too.

NanaDiana said...

OMGOSH, Diane. WHAT an experience. Scary and exciting all at once. What a beautiful, regal-looking cat. Just gorgeous but not something I would want to see up close and personal. I hope you have a wonderful 2019 with lots of happy hikes ahead of you!!! xoDiana

Vee said...

Wow! I am excited for you...consider it a free jumpstart for your heart. I would not wish to see one ever... But your photos are great! Thank you for daring to take those shots. Was your hubby bummed because he missed it?

Spare Parts and Pics said...

What an amazing experience! Incredible that you were actually able to sneak up behind a bobcat!! Wonderful photos, and an experience I'm sure you will always remember!

Terri D said...

WOW!! Just WOW!!!

Bob Bushell said...

Fantastic find, absolutely stunning. The shots are one of a kind, thanks Diane.

Janey and Co. said...

Jeepers..my heart would have stopped. I am thrilled that you not only saw him but got some pictures....and of course happiest that this had a happy ending!!!

Anni said...

...and I'm STILL marveling over your photos this week Diane!

We, at I'd Rather B Birdin, enjoyed your post this week...thanks for linking in.

Anni said...

...and I'm STILL marveling over your photos this week Diane!

We, at I'd Rather B Birdin, enjoyed your post this week...thanks for linking in.

Debbie said...

the hairs on my arms are standing up!! how exciting and scary, and thrilling!! you were so brave to take so many pictures, they are beautiful!!!

and the phoebe, gorgeous...a beautiful background!!!

and good thing you carry pepper spray, now i know why!!!!

Carola Bartz said...

How amazing to come upon this beautiful cat, and you got some great photos! It is a bit unsettling to meet them in the wild, but in the end bobcats usually would just leave. You did exactly the right thing.
I hike on my own in mountain lion country which means I'm constantly on alert. I've seen their scat, but I've never seen the animal itself. However, I'm sure they have seen me. They usually avoid humans (with good reason), but we also have one in the woods just beyond our home. She has been there for years and only few people have seen her. We were worried that after the October 2017 fires she might have been gone since the fire was so close, but she's still around. So no walking alone after dark!

Rose said...

I would have been shaking with excitement to see that cat! Bobcats are so secretive...I have only ever seen a fleeting glimpse of one when I was maybe 20! Years and years ago in other words.

Lauren @ My Wonderfully Made said...

HOLY. COW!!!! Well the photos are incredible and I can't believe you were able to take them! I would have probably peed my pants lol! You must be a seasoned hiker since you carry pepper spray! Very exciting and I'm glad you got the photos and got AWAY!!

A Colorful World said...

Awesome!!!! How I would love to see and bobcat or lynx around here, and even the cougar that lives nearby, though I have to admnit I would be scared to death! :-)

Anonymous said...

So exciting, Diane! And you captured some great pictures too! It is nice that the bobcat gave you your space and didn't get too close!

Carla from The River said...

Thank you for sharing this with me early ;-) .. and 95 hikes in 2018! And already 5 in the new year! AMAZING!!!
You should enter your photos in a photo contest. I know in Wisconsin we have a DNR site that you can enter photos. Also the Wisconsin Conservation site, last year one of my photos of a wildflower won. :-) It was published in a calendar.

betty-NZ said...

What a fabulous surprise! And you captured it so well, too, despite the circumstances. Wow!

Cherdecor said...

You are scaring me! I am not going hiking with you any more. Just Kidding! Just a little tip. Keep that pepper spray in the palm of your hand when you are hiking. Wowzer!

Angie said...

Diane - you are a lucky woman indeed - not to escape alive, no. To get to see such a creature in the wild … I am excited with you to have shared in this experience through your photos. You did well to capture them so well, knowing your heart was in your mouth!!! Happy New Year, my friend!

Nancy Chan said...

Good thing you were calm and in control! What an exciting encounter you had with the Bobcat!

orchid Miyako said...

Wow!!!  It DEFINITELY must have been an exciting and unforgettable experience. When I first glanced at only your photos, wished to know what kind of cat it is p;-) How handsome he is, and I smiled reading you said "I was scared but probably more excited than scared!"♪ How sensible just walk fast; I thought I might have run away. And your are also courageous to take these photos to share for us.

Thank you SO much for your sweet comments, your New Year will be a great one with an exciting head start.
Sending Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan to my Dear friend, xoxo Miyako*

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Thatisthe BEST story ever! How wonderful. I love that you saw your bobcat, got pictures, and shared them and I loved how you told the story! Can totally imagine how you felt ...and even relate to how the bobcat felt! What a great post! Thank you. (And I really would love to hike those trails!)

Jenn Jilks said...

That is amazing! That reminds me of the time I was looking for barred owl chicks and a bear came along!

Red Rose Alley said...

What a wonderful experience that was for you when you saw The Bobcat! Such a pretty animal, indeed. You did the right thing backing up slowly. Oh my, my heart would be racing too. And you got some pictures to always remember this day always.

~Sheri

Red Rose Alley said...

ps....the picture of the Phoebe looks like a painting, so pretty. : )

Lowcarb team member said...

Wow!
What an adventure - great photographs.

All the best Jan

Judy Moran said...

Whew!!!

~Judy

Ariadne said...

Wow! What a rare treat! AriadnefromGreece!

Marilyn @ MountainTopSpice said...

That was an incredible thing Diane, and how amazing that you were able to zoom in on the bobcat while he was looking the other way, without spooking him! You certainly did the right thing by backing away, and getting out your pepper spray. It is a bit unusual to see one of these cats hunting during daylight. I absolutely love the pictures you were able to capture of this incredible moment of a lifetime! And the pictures of your Phoebe are gorgeous as well, love the bokeh! Blessings and hugs :)

eileeninmd said...

Wow, your photos of the Bobcat are awesome. Great sighting too. I am glad you were safe, it is always good to be prepared for with the pepper spray too.
So sorry I am late commenting. I am just back from my trip away and catching up. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Enjoy your day and week ahead. I also appreciate your visit and comment.

DeniseinVA said...

Incredible!!! I would have been scared but thrilled at this sighting. And you took great photos of this beautiful animal. Great reaction timing, I would have been rooted to the spot and unable to move :)