That is my neighbor. She's passed through outside my house the last two nights between 5:30 and 6:00 am. She's big and healthy, making the rounds of my neighborhood, which borders the National Forest. My husband decided her name is Betsy. Betsy the mountain lion.
On the wildlife camera near the house and one that points over the back fence, we've also gotten videos of a mama bear and her two almost-grown cubs (one dark, one blonde), foxes, coyotes, raccoons, bunnies, squirrels, a little herd of six deer, bobcats, skunks, some neighbor dogs, our own dog and our two housecats. On one video, a fox comes up and sniffs the nose of a baby deer who is not afraid. The fox leaps away. Fascinating.
Were they all passing through our backyard before we got cameras? Probably.
I've reached an age - 56 - when I can say things like "I've lived here for nearly 35 years." Crazy, but true. After moving a couple dozen times as a kid, I have lived right here for almost 35 years. And in all that time, we've only lost one cat. When our dogs are outside they keep the critters away, and we bring our cats in at night. Mountain lions and bears and foxes don't want to hassle with dogs if they don't have to. It all seems to work out. But still...it's really something to see video of Betsy the lion walking calmly by 30 feet from where I'm sleeping.
It means a lot to me to live on the edge of the forest. It's kind of like being at the beach -- you're at the border of something vast and wild. It's good for my soul. I love that the animals pass through. I love that my neighbors respect them and recognize that we're coexisting in the same community. When I put up posts on our neighborhood facebook page, everyone says stuff like "she's beautiful!" and "I hope she stays safe."
I've posted a couple of critter videos on my instagram if you want to see them.
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