Thanks to everyone who's shared their Backyard Corridors stories with us so far. We're going big with this week's question.
What is the largest, wild land animal living in your area?
Please share your answer, and any stories you may have about that animal, in the comments on our blog, The Cleanest Line, or on Patagonia’s Facebook page. We'd love to hear from you. Here's Pat Cole from New Mexico to get things started.
Bobcats in the Backyard
Story and photo by Pat Cole
We moved from urban Kansas City to the high desert of New Mexico in 2001. Because our house is very near a 44,000 acre ranch surrounded by mountains, we have a lot of wildlife to watch, photograph and enjoy: deer, antelope, fox, coyote and, though we haven’t seen them, even a mountain lion and bear have passed through the neighborhood.
On a recent morning, Pete opened our back door to see a kitten dart up our Purple Robed Robinia Tree. Although the size of a tom cat, Pete knew it wasn’t domestic because it had a short tail and black pointed ears. Very shortly, the mother bobcat jumped the coyote fence and tried to coax her kitten down from the tree. Without any luck, she jumped from post to post for four hours, not willing to leave her kitten. Occasionally, she rested her head and snoozed. Excitement increased when a formidable male bobcat indifferently sauntered across the lower wall, jumped the fence and left the property. Of course, cameras came out and neighborhood camera buffs were invited over for photo ops.
We called Fish and Game but they declined to displace them to the mountains. I think they knew the mother bobcat and her kitten would move on. However, the ranger did check our property, and found a place on the roof where a mother bobcat might like to bring her kitten to protect her from other predators.
All of our neighbors weren’t entirely pleased. One couple was greatly disturbed because they have domestic cats who spend part of the time outside. But the rest of the neighborhood was thrilled to be a part of the wild, and so are we.
Pat Cole lives near Santa Fe and is the mother of Hans Cole, who works in Patagonia’s environmental department.
For more on Freedom to Roam, Patagonia's current environmental initiative, have a listen to this interview with Rick Ridgeway on The Joy Trip Project.