Photo Essay: Baby Boom Season
It was a late afternoon in June. I was going down in a canyon when suddenly I saw a fast movement on the edge of my view to the right. I looked over, and shock and excitement took over my brain and my body and I froze.
A bobcat mama was running down from the rocky slope, just about 30 yards from me.
As I woke up from my surprise, my next realization had grown roots in my feet and I got even more shocked. She had two kittens in her mouth, rushing with them like something was chasing her.
I didn't want to disturb her, so I didn't move, and I could barely get out and hold up my camera. But by the time I was able to take a few photos, she was gone.
Except... she had dropped one kitten.
It was crying out loud and after just a few quick shots I was the one rushing away in the opposite direction, so mama felt comfortable enough to come and pick it up quickly. It was a successful move and she did.
Needless to say, I was so happy in my heart, as I had never ever seen a bobcat in the wild. And there they were... a mother and two little kittens. An amazing experience can surprise and shock you in an instant, and it creates a memory of a lifetime.
The End of the Baby Boom Season - Spring
Nature has been changed by waking up from the sleepiness of Winter. The snow has rapidly melted, and is still melting in the high mountains, and giving more water to lakes, flooding river shores, and banks. The colors have been turned into new fresh green, and different bright colors of flowers – blankets covering the meadows, fields, and forest beds.
We are entering into Summer, and in the past few months many mothers have been showing up with newborns of different species of the Wild of the Rocky Mountains. And some showed up with their yearlings and two years olds.
I love these months.
The first part of motherhood with the first critical weeks is entering into the second part, when the newborns start to wander around more to learn their "home" areas, trying the food that mom is eating, and many birds are trying their wings to explore the sky.
But... They have to survive these weeks and months, which depends on many circumstances. Survival rates for baby animals are lower in many regions due to human activities, adding to all the dangers that the wilderness is already holding for them.
Life is hard in the Wild. The endless challenges are always nearby for all mothers and newborns. It never ends. Every day is a "working day" for them to find food, to learn to hunt, to grow and get stronger, to learn what is dangerous for them, or how to fight to stay alive.
We Humans can do so much to help wild animals just "Be," and not to add more struggles into their demanding lives.
ReWild, and not only are you helping the ecosystem, but you might get the chance to experience your own "instant" and "memory of a lifetime."
All photographs (c) Krisztina Gayler
Krisztina Gayler has been wolf watching in Yellowstone since 2013. She has also been: Colorado Representative at National Wolfwatcher Coalition since 2016; Coalition Member at Rocky Mountain Wolf Project 2017; Crew member at The 06 Legacy Nonprofit Wolf Advocate group 2018; Contractor at MoRak Farm & Ranch LLC 2016; Former Director 10 years at ReMounts Equine and Land LLC – Training horses, range rider, cattle work; Former Volunteer at Campaign for Yellowstone Wolves. (Photo: Krisztina at Yellowstone, September 2020. (c) Heidi Pinkerton)