The closest stop sign is over a mile away and the first traffic light is 5+ miles down the road. A visit to the grocery store is almost 30 miles round trip. It's quiet here; just the sound of toads and coyotes at night. It seems very still, but when you look close there's always something happening. Read on about a few things we've noticed over the past few years.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mountain Lion!

Late one afternoon I came home, walked to my mailbox to retrieve my mail and suddenly realized I could hear my chickens making much more noise than
usual. They sounded strange and my instincts told me something was annoying them.  The first thought was a coyote.  My experience with coyotes has been that they usually take off as soon as they see a human.  Not thinking (boy is that descriptive) I started to walk towards the coop.  The coop is located a few hundred feet from the main house, not in direct line of sight.  I started talking to the chickens, trying to calm them down and warn them and the "coyote" that I was on my way up to check things out.  As I approached the coop I could see the chickens in a panic.  They were flying around, making lots of panicky clucking noises, not being themselves at all.  As I got closer I couldn't see what all the fuss was about, I continued talking to them and suddenly I froze in my tracks!  I was standing outside on one side of the coop and the lion was sitting outside on the other side of the coop.  The only thing separating us was some chicken wire and a couple of stressed out chickens.  While it was only line of sight about 8 feet away, the lion only had about a 12 foot walk around the coop to come get me!  At first I thought to myself, that's one large dog!  And who's dog is it way out here on my property?  All of a sudden it registered that it wasn't a mutt, it was a lion!  And I was standing there, alone, empty handed. 

The lion was gazing sedately into the coop staring at the chickens.  While of course I was shocked at what I was looking at it struck me immediately that this lion was one of the most beautiful creatures I had ever seen.   It had a beautiful tawny colored coat.  It's fur looked smooth and soft, it's face was sweet and relaxed.  Well, I quickly came to my senses and realized I might become dinner if I didn't do something fast.  I raised my hands above my head, started jumping up and down screamed for the lion to leave.  "Get out of here! Leave!"  The lion slowly swiveled it's head and eyes off the chickens and over to me. It took one casual look at me and then it looked right back at the chickens.  It could care less what I was doing - I was no threat at all. 

This lion must have been about 90 lbs.  The males range in weight from 130 to 150 and the females from 65 to 90.  It must have been a female or an immature male.  Nose to tail they males can reach 8 ft, females can reach 7 ft.  I slowly edged away, never turning my back on it.  While we live in very rural terrain, I never expected to see a lion so close.  It's something I'll never forget. 

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