Thursday, August 9, 2012

Chicks and Cougars

There has been a couple week long string of mountain lion sightings in bear canyon.  First there was a pair sited on the road down by the school about 0.5 mile away.  Then they were spotted in the backyard of the next door neighbors house one morning.  Then again in our backyard a few days later.  Always two of them.

Then one night in the midst of these wild animal sightings I fall ill to what can only have been the coxackie virus (which I believe I got from my landlord and proceeded to pass on to her kitds).  I was up all night sneezing, and blowing my nose and got maybe 2 hours of legitimate sleep.  From 4am onward, I was wide awake.  Around 6am my neighbor starts his deisal engine truck and rives off to work.  The cows start their monring mooing in their usual fashion.  The sun is starting to come up.  The chickens are starting their clucking.  Everytime a car starts, or a cow moos, or a chicken clucks, I get up and peek out the window to see if it is a mountain lion.  It never is.

I start falling back alseep when I hear a chicken clucking wildly and more crazily until it sounds like a duck.  It sounds like the chicken is moving pretty fast and I listen fro some big cat paws chasing it, but it sounds like just a chicken.  I decide to stay in bed this time.  Then I think, "just get up and double check."  And when I peer out the window there is a grown mountain lion in my driveway with the landlord's chicken in his mouth."

I scream in my loudest whisper for Trevor to get up and out of bed 'cause there's a mountain lion outside!  I text my landlord that the coudag ate her chicken as it is hanging out of the mountain lion's jaws seemingly lifeless.  Landlord says she still can see two on her side of the house, so there must be three out there.  Mountain lion runs off down the driveway with Lightning McQueen (the landlord's 4 year old son's second favorite chicken).  It stops behind a stack of wood an peers back at us without the chicken in it's mouth.  I yell something at it and it runs off. 

Two minutes later the landlord's husband is in truck roaring down the driveway presumably with a shot gun in tow to go lion hunting. No luck.  But supsrisingly, ol' lucky Lightning McQueen comes prancing up the driveway healthy and happy as ever.  Guess the mountain lion wasn't in the mood for chicken for breakfast.

Later in the day Lightning McQueen was attacked by a dog.  Must've still had the kitty scent on him.

Just another Montana morning.

Here are some pictures from recent hikes:

Bear Canyon hike

butterfly in flight


beaver dam

chipmunk rock

Pioneer Falls hike:

Ted Turner's ranch


dog in the river

hard to tell in the photo but ther is a herd of about 60-100 elk off to the left of the road

There he is.  Mr. bear

In the Bridger mountains towards the northeast side of Bozeman is a larg white "M" made out of rocks that you can hike up to.  Views from the "M: trail:

crazy caterpillar

Different day, same trail

And then there's the Beehive basin trail.  This one might just take the cake....

where did that storm come from?


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