Tracking the Curious Lathrop Bobcat

by Barbara Walvoord

Sharon and I snowshoed in the wetland behind the Huckleberry Lane houses the other day. When we did it again the next day, we found a story in the snow. There were bobcat tracks on top of our snowshoe tracks. In the photo, you can see the edges of the snowshoe tracks and then, on top, the bobcat track.

You can tell a bobcat’s tracks because they are as wide as they are long and have four toes, with no nail marks. Our bobcat’s tracks told a story.

The bobcat’s tracks followed our snowshoe tracks along the edge of the woods, then down into the wetland, and across it for several hundred yards. We were pleased to have made a trail for it. This is a new twist on the land conservation committee’s efforts to provide trails on our land.

But our bobcat left the trail for several excursions.

It went down into a culvert to investigate a storm drain opening.

It detoured to drink at a small patch of open water.

It went to several grassy patches or thickets where mice or rabbits might be hiding.

And it left the trail to investigate an old black umbrella that is lying on the ground back in the wetland.tracks bobcat umbrella 016

So our bobcat is efficient at using the trails we broke for it, willing to slog through unbroken snow for food or water, but also curious–what’s that black thing?

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