What Left These Tracks In The Snow?
So there I was, working away in my little Honeycomb Hideout Home studio as my kids got ready for school downstairs. It was about 7:45 in the morning, and the sun was peeking through the snow-covered leaves. I watched as the flakes made their way down to the ground below. I love the view into my backyard. And with the snow falling, it was very whimsical.
Now, it's not unlike my kids to come say goodbye to me before they head out the door, but the footsteps racing up the stairs this morning had more than just sibling rivalry behind them; they were excited footsteps.
I didn't even wait for them to knock on the studio door, because I was already curious as to what might be on their minds. It was open, and I was waiting, as they hit the top steps.
"We just saw a Lynx in the backyard!" exclaimed my 12 year old.
"It was a bobcat!" came the definitive answer from his know-it-all 9 year old sister.
Not to be outdone, the 5 year old pipes up, "Mommy-it was a huge wild cat!"
I stood up from my stool, which faces the backyard, and peered below into the backyard, hoping to catch a glimpse of whatever had them so excited this morning. Not seeing any movement, I sent a text down to my morning helper, who is a somewhat more level-headed voice of reason. Plus, he's a grown up. He'd know.
"Was there a Lynx in the backyard?" I asked. "Did you actually see a big cat? It wasn't one of Brian's cats, Sprocket or Clarence, from next door?"
When my buddy came back from morning drop-off, and sent the 5 year old, Bridget, inside to warm up, he promptly headed out to the backyard to investigate.
He found the tracks and followed them in a bit of a pattern across the back yard. He said they were bigger than many of the usual cat suspects that live in our neighborhood. We have Maine Coons (see below) so we're kind of familiar with big, fluffy kitties.
He snapped some shots of the paw prints, and said that what he saw was the size of a medium build dog. But it was definitely not a dog.
He says the print looked to be about 2 inches long. The stride seemed to him to be a bit longer than a normal house cat's.
He said he never saw the cat run. It walked quickly when the kids started to make noise at the back door.
"Tell me again what you saw." I inquired, staring into the backyard in a bit of disbelief. We live in a little neighborhood off of Union Street in Bangor. Our back yard is about as wild as you can get, and it's not a huge by any means. I mean we've seen squirrels and groundhogs, a bunch of birds, a porcupine and a skunk. Last week, we even saw a fox run down the street. But when you think of big kitties like Lynx or Bobcat, it's strange to think of them in the city. In the forest, sure--but not a suburban backyard!
"I went inside to look, after Noah had come out and told me he was going to check out the Lynx in the backyard. We talked about why that wouldn't be a good idea, and came into the house. We were looking at it through the sliding glass door in the kitchen. It stopped for a minute and turned it's head to look at us. It's ears came to a tufty point on the top of it's head. It had a body the size of a medium dog., And it had a tail. It wasn't a huge one, but there was definitely one there," my friend recalled.
How, with the distraction of dancing snowflakes had I managed to miss such an exciting event taking place just below my line of sight!?!
So, I now turn to you. Knowing everything that I know, and seeing the pictures, can anyone tell me what left these track's in the snow?