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Sunday, May 27, 2007

A Near Miss

I made a trek into the Wind River area in Washington to do some scouting for an idea that has been percolating for a while. I am specifically looking for large, old logs that have fallen across streams to become natural bridges. Wouldn't it be interesting to see what kind of animals use these crossings, especially when the water is tumultuous? For this purpose I brought along a remote camera that would photograph any creature that made the crossing, and I left in place for 22 days to see what kind of activity I could photograph.

These images are not particularly good, but they give me some interesting ideas about how I might approach the project. I was surprised at the number of small creatures that used the log. I have combined two separate images, to show this rabbit and bushy-tailed woodrat in transit. I also have numerous images of tiny deer mice running along the log as well.

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I was especially surprised by the appearance of a mountain lion on these frames. Again, these are not great photos by any means, but I love the idea of a wild mountain lion, also called a cougar, puma and panther – crossing a stream called 'Panther Creek'. The cat jumped onto the log from the stream bank, and I assume he just sauntered across in search of deer. I am always thrilled when I photograph a wild mountain lion because they are so secretive, and so rarely photographed in the wild

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Too bad I got the back-end, otherwise it might have been an interesting shot!


Alice E. Lockhart said...

Wow, this was great, thanks. What a fantastic idea. And the pictures looked pretty darned good to me. Mountain lions came up in a breakfast conversation with my 7 year-old about what might be most closely related to a Saber-toothed cat. It was great telling her our mountain lion stories and then finding your story as well. Next time we cross a stream via log, we'll be thinking about other creatures who have crossed before us. Thanks!

OregonWild said...

Alice - Interesting question about the saber-toothed cat. They must have been impressive looking, and quite dangerous...

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Details About Me

Portland, Oregon, United States
Husband, Father, Student Of Natural History, Photographer