Wildlife, and getting wilder

I went to Salem yesterday to sort through some things with family, and so I missed all the excitement.

Ben was working in his office and looked out the window (early afternoon) to see a mountain lion strolling across the meadow about 50 yards from the house. !!!

We know they’re around here. We’ve heard them mating, and I’ve seen two cubs in the last three months while on the road. This one, Ben estimated, was probably about a year old, bigger than the cubs I’ve seen but smaller than a mature lion. To have it close to the house in broad daylight was a little scary. Ben’s right, I need to dust off my .38 special.

Our wildlife here is generally pretty reserved and people-contact-averse. I prefer it that way, I must admit. We don’t keep animals, but several of our neighbors do. The deer have been a little sparse this year (very scarce now that hunting season is on us–I’m not sure how they know, but they seem to), so I suspect the lion was looking for something to eat. The neighbors are now officially alerted.

My DSL has been down for two days. I hate working by dial-up, but at least I can still get online. The DSLAN is down for the whole valley, so I can’t even take it personally.

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4 Responses to “Wildlife, and getting wilder”

  1. stephanie Says:

    Heya Auntie! This is your niece Stephanie. I had no idea you had this blog on here, I found you from Ingers myspace. Well the mountain lion thing sounds scary! I will bookmark your blog so I can keep in touch better.
    hope to see you soon.
    ~steph

  2. Barbara Says:

    I hope you don’t need the .38. I’ve heard that making yourself look as large as possible and yelling works to scare them off. We have them in Southern California too. The only attacks I’ve heard of were when people crouched down to tie their shoes or fix a bicycle. I guess it’s good to have a dog or a lookout while gardening if they’re around. I read a couple years ago about roofers around here finding them asleep on roofs, and we think we heard one run across our back deck one night a few years ago and kill something (blood-curdling cry, suddenly cut off). When it ran across the deck, it hit the boards with more force than our 90-lb dog does, and cats distribute their weight differently in their feet, so it could’ve been a big cat. I’m not convinced a coyote could’ve jumped our fence.

    Scary, and sort of exciting just to know they’ve adapted and survived so well in spite of man’s encroachments.

  3. Marianne Says:

    Hey, Steph! Great to hear from you. I had no idea Inger had a Myspace page, but somehow it doesn’t surprise me. Check in once in awhile, and with any luck I’ll see you before too long.

  4. Marianne Says:

    Barbara, that looking big and intimidating reminds me of a story I heard in Alaska. Tourists are told to tie jingle bells in their shoe laces to alert the bears that they are approaching and give them an opportunity off. That advice is followed by the sure way to identify grizzly bear scat (crap): It’s full of little bells. . .;^}

    The night before Ben saw the lion, I heard what sounded like a rabbit screaming just above the house. As you say, very short and ended abruptly.

    I don’t think it’s a cause for major alarm, just for an extra dose of alertness when walking around (and probably the .38 on my hip). But since we don’t have animals, I’m selfishly hoping he’ll drift on to one of the neighbors’ places.

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