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.
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.