Bobcat

July 17, 2015

Most of you know that I have made it my mission to photograph a bobcat this spring and all of my efforts toward that end have been expended at Shaw Nature Reserve, where perennial sightings of these secretive, nocturnal creatures are reported by hikers. After nearly 75 hours of “sitting time” in my turkey chair, countless tick bites, chigger bites and mosquito bites, nagging back pain from too much time in the chair, and a growing disgust for this frustratingly elusive species, I was recently rewarded with an encounter. In this edition, I’m sharing three images of the magnificent creature, a youngish female, I believe.

The featured image was one of my favorites from the short time I had with the curious cat. It highlights the huge eyes, intense stare, and a bit of the body, more reddish than usual in the early-morning light. Tall and lithe, as is typical with this species, you can just see the black-backed left ear with its telltale white spot. Many Missouri bobcats have small ear tufts but some do not, including this one.

In the second image, I learned what it is like to be approached and stared down by Missouri’s impressive feline predator. As it walked toward my hide, I wondered, “Okay, you can stop any time now!”

DJB_SNR_2015_1284

Maybe it was curious as to what I might be, or maybe it was trying to backtrack to the last location of its kittens. I’ll never know, but I was super happy to get the shot with the yellow flowers all around.

I included a final, broadside image so you could get a nice look at namesake tail of the nervous feline. This image also provides a nice look at the cheek tufts of the young cat. As you can tell from its expression, it would be the last image I captured during the experience.

DJB_SNR_2015_1286

I feel quite fortunate to have finally photographed Missouri’s most elusive mammal, even in light of my wonderful suffering. Keep in mind, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation, the bobcat’s nighttime range is typically 3 to 7 miles! I owe a lot to Missouri Botanical Garden staff member, Aileen Abbott, for her dogged determination in helping me find the right place at the right time to document the presence of this bobcat at Shaw Nature Reserve.

Now to my next adventure!

Thanks for looking,

DB

Email:  Natureframes@Rocketmail.Com

Gallery:  Here

19 comments on “Bobcat”

  1. Grrrrreat pictures, Danny. You are a patient person to sit 75 hours. Keep up the wonderful work!

  2. You did it! Beautiful and glorious….

  3. Danny:

    I can’t believe the legislators in Illinois have passed a bill that authorizes a hunting season on bobcats. It seems they have been taken off of the endangered list. Apparently there was some lobbying for this bill. Sadly, Governor Rauner has indicated he will sign the bill. I hope they make the hunting season sunup to sundown. Since this magnificent animal is nocturnal and very secretive maybe the hunters will miss most of its activities.

    Bernie Mennemeyer

    Date: Fri, 17 Jul 2015 20:50:13 +0000 To: bmenn42@hotmail.com

  4. I’m part of the Washington garden club, after you visited us in the spring I joined your nature frames website and look forward to all your posts. The bobcat pictures are really cool!

  5. To track down this elusive cat…and to get such a great image…wow, DB!

  6. Absolutely gorgeous shots.

  7. YAY!!! Happy dance!!! I’m sure you were doing one after you got these gorgeous shots! So happy for you and it is so wonderful to see such images, especially after only seeing a glimpse of one with you a while back. I knew you’d get the shot! Patience equals a big reward, for all of us!

  8. WOW!! What a magnificent Shot. You have the patients of Jobe. That Bob Cat is just Stunning. Thank’s for sharing Danny.

    Art

  9. Superb!!! I hope to see one someday. I never really would have thought to visit Missouri, but your pictures really illustrate a beautiful place I should explore someday. Beautiful images.

    • Thanks Christy. I hope you visit us some day, and I recommend the southern part of the state for beautiful scenery.


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