Saturday, June 29, 2013

Peaceable Kingdom

Bobcat in Ozark County, Missouri

It was hot yesterday morning, and as I hurried to fill the bird bath and feeder before work, there was a surprise waiting for me. From just behind the bird feeder, a bobcat sprinted a short distance away and laid down.

A bobcat watches his back in Ozark County, Missouri

We watched each other warily at first.  I was ready to run for the house at one false move. These creatures are extremely fast, and a rabid one should not be taken lightly.  Then the bobcat settled down to his business, and I to mine.  He stayed when I went in the house, came back with my camera, and took some shots.  

After a small yawn, he thumped his short tail on the ground several times, then settled in for a good cleaning up.

I got out the hose, scrubbed the bird bath, filled the feeder, and watered the raspberries while he was cleaning up, then turned back to wrap up the hose.  When I looked again, he was gone.

My first guess, of course, was that he was sick, though he appeared to be well fed; bobcats are very nocturnal and have a natural fear of humans.  We're not excluding the possibility, however, that, since we were gone much of last week, he got used to this place when we weren't around and considers it part of his hunting grounds.  I can only speculate how often he may have watched us from the shadows.

We impact our surroundings, sometimes in ways we don't intend.  We feed the small creatures, who congregate, and at times, by this, become more available to predators.  And though we always root for the smaller ones, we have no illusions that we have any control over the outcome.

A wild hen turkey has been coming around lately with one darling poult, a far cry from the average hatch of twelve.  This bobcat may have warmed his belly with some of the eggs, or the small poults.

Such is life on our beautiful planet, and things like this remind us that there's something broken about this world, that, as hard as we try, we can't fix.  As Christians, we anticipate the day when Jesus will reign as king and all of nature will be at peace.  

The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat, 
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
and a little child will lead them.

The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
 and the lion will eat straw like the ox.

The infant will play near the cobra's den, 
and the young child will put its hand into the viper's nest.

They will neither harm nor destroy 
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.

Isaiah 11:6-9

Linking with Tuesday Muse
and Camera Critters



Margaret Adamson said...

Wow! I think I might have been afraid if I saw that Bobcat. He is such a beautiful amimal adn it was wonderful that he hung around for you to get the photos. His eyes are fantastic. Now the Turkey made me smile. The baby is so cute. Thanks for sharing adn have a great weekend. Margaret

pens and needles said...

Connie, I never cease to be amazed at the wonderful things you are allowed to witness! I believe God shares them with you because you have such a deep appreciation of His plan and how it all fits together and that you are careful to do your bit to preserve it all (and share it with lucky us!)Even though it's broken (for now) it's still full of beauty.

Anonymous said...

What a great encounter. You caught it perfect! Love the little baby turkey as well.

S. Etole said...

Great photos of your unexpected visitor.

Saun said...

Wow, lucky you glad he didn't attack you. Awesome shots!

Terri said...

We have coyotes that pass through all the time, and red fox...but they don't come up and lay in the yard, and like you first thought would have been that he was ill.

eileeninmd said...

Wow, amazing shots of the Bobcat. Cool sighting. I like the turkey too! Have a happy weekend!

Lavender Cottage said...

The bobcat is smaller than I imagined, but still a lucky capture with your camera.
I see wild turkeys a fair bit along our country roadsides but have never seen babies.

Steve Borichevsky said...

Nice! I know what you mean about being a bit cautious around a bobcat. I had my one and only bobcat encounter in a State Park in California. I didn't get the pictures I wanted because I was a bit concerned about how it would react if I squatted down!

Anne (cornucopia) said...

Gorgeous Bobcat!

The Write Girl said...

What a beautiful bobcat. I've never seen one before. Amazing! I enjoyed the beautiful poem as well.

Lui said...

...and i touched the wild and kissed the rabid ones and trembled at the outcome but closed my eyes and felt our oneness...

Have a wonderful weekend, Connie!

Gunilla Bäck said...


Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Fantastic pictures of this beauty.. Congrats. A regard from Madrid..

Deanna said...

You live in such a beautiful place, attracting such beautiful animals. Thank so much for sharing the beauty that surrounds you.

Brian King said...

Wow, I would wonder about his health, too, because it's highly unusual to see a bobcat like that. I've only seen them in the woods and just for brief seconds. These are fantastic shots! It certainly worked out well for you!

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

He looks perfectly healthy -- maybe he's used to humans? In any event, a wonderful opportunity to capture this gorgeous animal.

Pat said...

He certainly is a beauty. I hope that he is not sick. I also hope the remaining turkey poult survives.

Betty Luckhurst said...

What a great experience!

Ida said...

Wow what a wonderful opportunity you had to capture the beauty of this cat. I love cats of all sizes and this one has such great expression in it's eyes. Thank you so much for sharing.

Jennifer Richardson said...

what a regal looking creature;
you're right, the brokenness gives me pain but it's not forever.
We have a beautiful hope
and it doesn't disappoint.
Thanks for sharing your beautiful heart,

Misty DawnS said...

This is absolutely spectacular!!! One of the things on my life list is to photograph a bobcat in nature (not the zoo). I was just in awe while looking at this post!

Mil said...

Photos like these make me long for the time when, like Isaiah's verses describe, all of God's creation will enjoy their redemption.

After Noah's ordeal God said to him and his sons, "And the fear of you and the terror of you shall be on every beast of the earth and on every bird of the sky:..." Genesis 9:2a

What a blessing that the bobcat stuck around to have its picture taken. I was on a walk one day, came face to face with a bobcat, a staring contest ensued, then the bobcat took 2 giant leaps into the woods. I shall never forget it.