Sunday, September 20, 2009

Lion on the Road

Amarillo by morning...and it's a beautiful one! To anyone travelling by car from New Mexico to Texas, I highly recommend the route following I-25 from Santa Fe to Albuquerque, then a left turn along I-40 to Amarillo. For scenery. Especially with the sun at your back.

We had amazing cloud structures above dreamy landscapes of ever diminishing mountains and it truly made the time pass quickly. So did the wonderful NM speed limits, a sensible 75 mph. (This is ignoring the construction we encountered, but surely someday they'll complete construction along that stretch of I-40!)

Actually, though, we're not in Amarillo. It's really Canyon, a few miles to the west, I think.

We spent hours with our dear friends Donna and Walt in Santa Fe; then a nice dinner last night with my cousin Soeurette and her husband Bob overlooking the sliver of the Palo Duro Canyon that is visible from her cabin at the Palo Duro Club. She is the CFO of our corporation, so we mixed a bit of business with the delicious meal.(Boeuf bourgignonne, salad, Monkey Bread, apple dumplings with ice cream. All prepared without salt and excellent! I have two teachers, now.)

Soeurette's recent excitement includes the mountain lion she encountered recently at the gate to the property, and LH was hoping for a glimpse. Apparently the lion is a mother with two cubs.

The first time she saw the lion, she'd been returning from Amarillo, and as she approached the gate she saw something large run across the road. She stopped; and it stopped; and they looked at one another. And looked. "She had such a sweet face..." Then the cat started to walk along parallel to Soeurette's car, so Soeurette began to roll along with her. Then the lion stopped and they looked at one another again. Then the animal bounded off.

This is a club of rustic cabins, mind you, tucked away in rugged terrain around a lake. Dogs and children run free; there are horses. So you might imagine that the reaction of the members is mixed. Some carry guns and are frightened; others celebrate this emergence of the wild into our over-citified lives. Presumably she is drawn by water, and food

What would you do if a mountain lion chose to live quietly in your neighborhood?


Anonymous said...

Ah, what to do about sharing the wild with wild creatures? I know I would be a little nervous about taking long walks. Imagine how your cousin would have felt had she not been in a car!

I've always believed in "live and let live" as long as the wild animal shows a healthy fear of humans. But when they start shopping for "groceries" in your backyard it's time to find another solution.


Anonymous said...

Bobcats and coyotes are common around the canyon. Mountain lions are rumored occasionly, but extremely rare. If she has actually seen one, she has experienced a very unique moment. I guess time will tell. She should keep the camera ready just in case.

Texas Legacy Lady said...

What a thrill that must have been to see the mountain lion. It's a shame LH didn't get to see it. I wouldn't mind having one in my neighborhood. I'd be extra cautious of course but I certainly wouldn't go out and try to kill it. The wild creatures were here first. They usually have a wide range and she may move on. Would be great to photgraph it and even better with her cubs.

Anonymous said...

Hey Leon's Partner,

Tell your cousin to remember she had a camera on her phone in case she sees the cat again. Most of us never think of it and just say, "Oh, I wish I had my camera!"

Ralph W. said...

One of these days, your husband will see a cougar in the wild. They have become quite common in some areas. If they get to be common in Washington County, I hope they love to eat wild hogs. Once in a while, one is seen in the eastern end of the county but they seem to keep going. I saw on in the spring of 62 or 63. It crossed I-10 near a river (at night) between Luling and Seguin.