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Sentinels of the Shadows

Jill J Easton

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A gray shape flowed rather than paced across the path, framed by thick fingers of fog that ebbed and flowed. She stopped, looked my way. I could make out a short twitching tail and a rabbit’s long ears and feet dangling from her mouth. She dematerialized rather than left. Her two kittens stopped to tussle briefly on the open path then galloped to catch up with mom. This morning, opening a rabbit, they would get their first lesson in being a predator.

I had just witnessed a rare sighting of one of the most seldom seen crepuscular (dawn and dusk) predators in the outdoor world, Lynx rufus, the bobcat, or wildcat. These wary cats range in size from eight pounds for a young female up to 35 pounds for male western cats.

Bobcats are creatures of the......