At an early hour this morning, the wild world turned away from grey and beckoned to me with sparkling diamonds of frost and the bright yellow light of dawn that promised to bring a sunny and warm day to the hills filled with wild things. The air was crisp and my feet got wetter the further out I ventured. I was cold and numb, but excitedly alive.
The foxtails, fiddlenecks, mustard grass and horehound seemed plump with anticipation of a gorgeous day as they sprang up in the cool morning air, refreshed by the overnight’s rain and warmed by the dawn. Suddenly, a mass of fur and muscle and poetry, exploded out of one clump of horehound, jumped over the foxtails and into the underbrush near the discarded heap of tumbleweeds. “A rabbit!” I thought, but it was much too large to be a rabbit.
My eyes eagerly traced the edge of the hill for movement and that’s when I spied our backyard bobcat. He’d leapt from the weeds on my left, flown over the foxtails, slunk down the hill towards cover, tunneled under the tumbleweeds, and leapt back into the clearing before he stopped and froze behind a tall marestail weed. He posed.
The more still the bobcat became, the more difficult it was to see him. I wonder, was he was closing his eyes hoping to disappear, like a child playing hide and seek?
He is frozen here. Can you see him?
The bobcat’s assessment of me was that I was not a threat, but my two dogs nearby might become a nuisance. And so after a few feline glances that he threw my way, the bobcat bounded away into the cover and disappeared. By this time my pound puppy Nilla had caught his scent and she excitedly traced the path of his early morning’s appearance. She found enough to spur her on, but not enough to find him.
The bobcat had gone, dissolving seamlessly into our neighboring world, the wild world. That wild world had been right before me, in fact, I’d felt a part of it, but with every leap of the bobcat the wilderness retreated, further and further beyond the fence. I hope I can visit there again soon.
We and our weeds are so much more than what we first appear to be.
Please come back tomorrow for a new “Weed Image of the Day” and let me know which ones you like.