Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Bootsy the Bobcat and Other Hidden Tails

It's a Bobcat!
No, Just Bootsy
Sneaking into a New Perch
A Hidden Perch
Is It?
Yes! It's Blue Heron!
Looking for movement. I'm in my bedroom upstairs enjoying a warm breeze at the window, scouting the overgrown north pasture for deer. Two startled my daughter, Brianna, last Labor Day weekend when she visited, and Todd has seen them since. I can't; all I see is a field of grass and weeds tawny as deer-hide.

But something moves. Quickly I sprint to my office, which is outside my bedroom. No binoculars. Of course not; I left them under the apple tree, desperately seeking Blue Heron. I just want to say goodbye to my pond bird buddy until next migration. I grab my camera instead, just in time for the movement to sit up, shape up and reveal itself to be a bobcat.

Not what I expected. I can see its mottled pattern for fur, its cat-like head, its missing tail. I snap several shots and it slinks into the grass once more. I follow its movement, marveling that I'm photo-stalking a bobcat. Then it clearly flicks its tail. A long tail. I look again and recognize Bootsy, her black coat looking bobcat-like behind brown plants. Now I see her white chin and long tail.

As if the critters and birds are snickering at my mis-identifications, even the red-tailed hawk messes with me today. His usual perch, the slanting tip of the tamarack between the south pasture and HWY 95, has been empty for days. Yet, suddenly he bursts out of the tree, circles the pasture and returns to a hidden perch. Now I see where he's hiding. I hope this also fools the gophers as they need eating.

In a final round of hide-my-tail, I see something white poke up out of the reeds on the west edge of the pond. Could it be? For the next hour I take frequent "spotting" breaks from my desk, scoping the area where I saw the white. At last, I see him, stepping out of the reeds as plain as a tail on a barn cat. It is Blue Heron! He hasn't left Elmira Pond yet.

It's very possible that Blue Heron will stay as long as there is open water. He's just elusive right now because great blue herons can be difficult to spot despite their size. They are so quiet, graceful and still. In the tall pond reeds and grasses he can easily go undetected, even by the likes of me. He's welcome to stay as long as he likes! There's plenty of frogs, yet and maybe I can convince him to join Bootsy and the red-tailed hawk in hunting for gophers.


  1. Not nice to fool your readers like that! I am glad your heron showed himself!

    1. I was drawing you into the same surprise I got! :-) I really did think it was a bobcat for an exciting moment...