So, what else wandered down that little side canyon?
After almost 2 months, a whole lot of rain, and some major road work, we returned to the Tehachapis to find out.
Needless to say, we were a little worried about the cams we had put near waterways. The downpours and flash floods of the December deluges had been severe.
Little did we know, but a clue to our luck came to the porch light while we unloaded the car...
Pacific Green Sphinx Moth, Arctonotus lucidus
The next morn we went to collect our cam in the fox-friendly wash first.
For the reset, we'd moved it a short distance to a creek-side trail, where a slope and cottonwood tree created a bit of a gauntlet. Glad for it too - the last location would have definitely drowned.
Reset cam along a small drainage, near a cottonwood
This time the cam had worked properly - lasting 3 weeks and taking 67 photos.
As we huddled 'round the LCD, the first strong character to claim the scene was quite a wow:
With the calm, impenetrable gaze of a Sphinx, this lion casually strolls by
In fact, the pretty Puma concolor had wandered the wash 4 times in 14 days.
Unfortunately, our fair feline came down the watercourse every time, so aside from the above passing glance, all the other cameos were booty views:
Walking away after looking at the cam on December 2nd at 11:23pm
December 8th at 6:27am
December 12th at 8:38pm
December 16th at 4:57pm in full daylight
But those tail-up shots do allow for a little sex speculation. Looking at the cat's "genital spot" (yes, that's a tech term) seems to indicate that she's a she. In males the spot is 4-5" below the anus, and it and the scrotum are usually visible. In females, the spot is only an inch or so below, so usually not visible unless their tail is way up.
Of course, I think it's just one mountain lion, but the December 12th photo does kinda look male, and somewhat different from the others...
So - if a lady lion, is this just a standard hunting circuit, or does she have something special stashed up there? Or, is it more than one cougar, and the cut-through a territorial overlap?
Perhaps we should set there again. But, this time we'll face the camera the other direction.