June 16, 2013

Poorwills, which I haven’t heard in a long time, are calling in the dawn saturated with a humidity of 86%.

The Stockpond is ringed with chats, hunting, jabbering, bathing in the water-filled craters left by cattle hooves in the muddy edge. Most birds though are sticking to the branches overhanging far out on the pond, down which they hop and creep until they reach the water where the branch tips allow them to touch it. I come to be conscious, suddenly, of something that apparently had been there the whole time: a large brown feline sitting statue-still at the trunk of one of those mesquites across the pond. I suppose the cat could make birds nervous. A beautiful thing, it must be a Bobcat though the face is strangely shaped and not quite right for one. The head swivels in 180 degree arcs, level, taking in everything, but that is done as slowly as a revolving restaurant. It’s young, still has spots up the legs, and it shows no hint of being aware of my presence. The rather pointed, rather heart-shaped face intrigues me, and I slip as quietly as I can out of the door of the pickup. It seems still unbothered. I want to see what the tail looks like, something I can’t do with the animal in the position it sits in slightly facing me. My slow creeping along the edge of the pond still doesn’t bother it! A few more feet and I’ll risk lifting the field glasses. I look down for a split second to be sure I don’t lose my footing and slip into the pond, look back up–it’s gone. Vanished, and I mean vanished; I get to the spot in a few moments and there is no sign of it across any of the wide pastures that stretch beyond, and no sight of it on the open floor of the bosque.