Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Wild life

I think I might have seen my first cougar last night.

It was the end of dusk and the light was fastly growing dim. The back of our property has a little over two acres (maybe more) of native, second growth forest and out of that thick undergrowth slunk a animal. I was doing something at the back of the house when I felt a sudden need to turn around and look behind me. There was a black patch on the ground that wasn't there before. The light was so dim that I wasn't certain if it was just a shadow or something alive. It moved, but perhaps it was my eyes, so I kept watching. I also started singing Stan Rogers' songs at this point just in case it was something dangerious. This tactic always seems to scare off bears, cougars and other dangerious critters.

It was as black as a black bear which was to say that it admitted no light to escape it's shadow. I've seen nothing in the world as black as the bears who live around here. Instead of lumbering along as bears do, it slunk; stopping every few moments to stand perfectly still, then continued to slink along the edge of the forest towards my neighbour's chickens. The shape was a that of a long, thin cat, only much larger. Over a yard long and perhaps three feet tall. It's hard to tell exactly.

According to my dad, the naturalist, it was probably a very old cougar. Cougars are probably the only animal around here that really frighten me. That and overly aggressive horned goats. Now I'm extra glad I'm not going to keep 100% free range chickens. They would be dead in no time and I'm fairly certain that cougars have no sense of a dignified death.


Josiane said...

Wow, it must have been quite an experience! It makes it quite clear that protecting the chickens is a very good idea.

Jen said...

Were you actually outside when you saw it?! That would be terrifying!

We had to do cougar and bear training in elementary school, so it's been instilled within me to be terrified of cougars.

Bears, I can handle. Everyone has to deal with bears at home. Cougars, I do not like. I don't like the idea of being stalked by an animal and I know of too many incidents of people being attacked by them up island.