I sat there, photographing this bobcat as it sauntered down the beach. I saw it stiffen slightly as it saw me, but it barely paused, as it kept on towards me.
As it walked down the shore, I took many pictures, rotating my camera to a horizontal orientation once that became the better composition.
It passed within two or three feet of the nose of my kayak where it was nestled on the rocks, before winding it’s way between the skeletal branches of a fallen tree. I took a few photographs of its rear and and its bobbed tail as it continued steadily on it’s way.
I was vibrant, ecstatic. This was the closest I had ever been to a bobcat, and I knew that many of my pictures would be true keepers. I was just about to put my camera down and make myself remember to breath, when the bobcat let me know what it truly thought of me…
It pointed its tail toward some of the brush, looked at me, raised his tail (yes, this action definitively told me that it was male) and sprayed. This was his beach, and I had better remember it. His territory was marked.
Later that day I came across the same cat. It sat on a bluff and watched me nonchalantly, yawning and resting its eyes. It knew who was boss.
Encounters such as this are what inspire my love of kayak photography, and keep me heading out on paddles even when I am tired and don’t have the energy. After something like this, I am floating two feet above my kayak.