Who needs a zoo when you have a dressage court in the mountains? Not us. We see wildlife constantly. From deer and turkeys hanging out on the roads and in the pastures, to Canada geese waddling across the driveway, tree squirrels, ground squirrels, snakes, hawks and songbirds. Then there are the animals we know are here but we rarely see, since they are nocturnal. Kersey has been nailed by skunks more than once and Sedona treed a raccoon in the barn a few years ago. We hear coyotes at night in the summer and I've seen a fox here and there dash across the road in front of my car. There have been recent sightings of a bear and a mountain lion in the neighborhood as well.
Brett groomed the arena before our month of rain started. I walked up to the dressage court to check the footing on Friday morning and found a zoo's worth of animal tracks. Some were easily recognizable -- raccoon and geese have distinctive tracks. There were the usual rabbit and squirrel tracks as well. Then I noticed some big cat prints -- the size of the palm of my hand. The animal was clearly running and they ended in a scuffle of sand. Whoa. Bobcat or mountain lion? We have both in the area. It looked like the cat was chasing a rabbit, not a deer, so I figured bobcat. I looked up the tracks for both on the computer and they are identical except for the size. Bobcat prints are 1-2 inches wide and long whereas mountain lion prints are 3+ inches. These were a tad over 2 inches.
The other night Brett and I were having dinner and he suggested we get a surveillance camera and install it down by our front gate.
"To get pictures of all the wildlife?" I asked
"No," he replied. "To get a picture of anyone who tries to break into our property."
... This is what happens when a tree hugger marries a cop.