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My very first encounter with the bobcat (Lynx rufus), what an amazing moment and what a privilege I had! Before starting the big season of photography, spring, I allowed myself a little two weeks of warm weather and surf, to relax. Nevertheless, I always bring my almost all my equipment in order not to regret a rare opportunity, and I'm glad I did!
You certainly know my love and passion for lynx, having spent months on their tracks here in Quebec. As I am always learning about the natural environments I visit, out of interest, I knew that bobcats were present in this region of the United States and pretty much everywhere in fact. However, my expectations were low as I know that they are stealthy, discreet and rarely seen animals.
On a beautiful evening, while driving through a wildlife reserve, I spotted a silhouette on a hiking trail just to my left. Short, dark, wet, prey in mouth, relatively small, but at the same time quite big, at first, I had no idea what it was. A few seconds later, I realize and whisper with a trembling voice... "Bobcat!!!". I quickly take two shots as he looks me straight in the eye. He leaves at the same time a little further away, out of my sight. I was already satisfied to have seen this magnificent wild animal, but I still decided to explore the surroundings, "you never know..."!
Silently, with my heart pounding out of my chest, I begin the very short hike to the birding lookout. I arrive at the large wooden walkway at the end of which is a platform over a marsh. Illuminated by the warmth of the setting sun, lying on the salt-aged wooden planks, there he is with its latest catch, a marsh rabbit. I'm freaking out... he's so concentrated that he doesn't see me!
I lie down on the ground and observe him with my eyes as round as his at that moment. The light, the beauty of this animal, the silence which reigns, I hardly believe what I photograph. By accident, I stepped on a small branch, alerting him of my presence. A gaze as deep and intense as the one of the lynx, it marks a memory forever.
Noticing that I was watching him, he starts to walk around his leftover meal before sitting down again. I perceive this behavior as a sign of stress and I decide that it is time to give him his space, nature has already spoiled me enough for tonight. At the same time, he starts to walk towards me, slowly, furtively, with a piercing but at the same time reassuring look. I never felt any aggressiveness, but rather a playful curiosity of a feline surprised that I stay in front of him for so long. At about 10 meters from my lens, after an exchange of gazes that lasted a few seconds, but that seemed to last forever, he stopped and turned back towards the end of the walkway. The perfect moment to respectfully leave!
As I walk towards the van, filled with gratitude and fascination, I take one last look behind me. The lynx had climbed onto the roof of the lookout, head turned towards me, in the last light of the day. I know it was probably more to make sure I was really leaving, but I still perceived the scene as his way of saying goodbye to me...
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog and look at my images. If you are lynx lovers like me, you can order prints and frames of several photos of these noble animals. The links are below! Don't hesitate to leave me your comments.