"I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the naked self merges with the nonhuman world and somehow survives...Paradox and bedrock."-Edward Abbey

17 February 2010

Lion Country

The stories started probably a month ago; the sightings of mountain lions. In one of the nearby townships, a one-hundred forty pound pit bull was dragged over a fence in broad daylight. Those who saw, unarmed, were powerless to do anything other than watch and wail about it. There have been tales of seeing tracks of what is probably a two-hundred fifty pound cat. Along the 730, the feeling of being watched by something just a little further up the trail.

On our last walkabout, Milarepa found gnawed on bones from a deer. I let her bring home part of a leg bone as a souvenir/chew-toy. Whether it was winter-kill and scavenged or the remains of something hunted is unknown. Other than the bones, we did not see any evidence of a predator being about, but that doesn't mean there wasn't one.

It's part of life when one gets out of the cities. There are mountain lions out in the badlands of eastern Colorado too. Usually, in the canyonious areas.

Some have decided to hold off on their walkabouts for another month. Until spring is closer and the lions disappear a bit further into the bush. Sort of like the idea of a bear being about, the thought of a mountain lion potentially watching, maybe even stalking, can be a little unsettling. I can understand that. Even and especially for those who trek without even the company of a dog.

We don't want to forfeit our walkabouts if we don't have to. Sabina has started to carry her pistol. Although, we were advised that in the instance of encountering a predator, to shoot at it, instead of just a firing off a warning. The hollow points could do more than enough damage if needs be. Some might find this advice cruel, but I don't. I'd rather be able to return home from my walkabouts, and if it's between a mountain lion or one of us, well, I find it completely justifiable to be a little bit selfish.

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