Bobcat

A mature Bobcat on the nature trail off Lower Valley Road.

Roger Hall took this photo of a mature Bobcat (Lynx rufus) on the nature trail off Lower Valley Road in Bear Valley Springs.

Roger explains: "During my morning walk, I spotted him coming towards me along the path about 50 feet away. I frantically started taking pictures, trying to keep him in focus as he walked towards me. As he started to pass by me, about 8 feet away, I snapped this picture."

While Bobcats are thought of as being mostly active at night, they can be seen any time of the day or night, and they rely as much on their stealth as on darkness to avoid detection. With their tawny coloration and silent footsteps, they can be hard to detect and are typically unseen as they go about their daily Bobcat business.

One attribute that does contribute to them being seen sometimes is this: they like to use trails and paths. Bobcats do not like to bushwhack or simply force their way through brush, tall grass and other vegetation like bears, wild pigs and some other wild animals.

Instead, when out exploring their territory, Bobcats sinuously weave their way along, avoiding brushing against weeds and branches. They often use game trails, and will also utilize equestrian trails, roads, driveways, and other human paths. Bobcats will spend time "in the rough" or in places with little or no trails when hunting rabbits, rodents or other prey, of course, but to get from one place to another, Bobcats like to use pathways.

The Nuwä (Kawaiisu or Paiute) word for Bobcat is tukümbuutsi, pronounced too-kum-BOOTS.

NATURAL SIGHTINGS is a regular feature of the Tehachapi News edited by Jon Hammond which showcases photos of the natural beauty that enhances the quality of life in Tehachapi. If you have a good quality image of plants, animals, insects, trees, birds, weather phenomena, etc., taken in the Tehachapi area, you may submit it to the Tehachapi News for possible publication. Submissions can be dropped by the News office in the form of a print or CD, or sent by email to: editorial@tehachapinews.com.