O, Wind, if Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?Percy Bysshe Shelley
We sure didn’t escape the bitter cold of winter here on the East Coast of Vancouver Island. But like all the other resolute Canadians, we’ll survive. Especially if we have dogs! I haven’t written for a while, hoping the mundanity of winter would ease up and something eventful would happen. But I guess life is really just a string of mundane moments. Except when there’s a cougar. ANd you cross paths with him.
Cougars don’t sleep all winter
I haven’t seen a lot of cougars in my 25 years of hiking around in the mountains with the dogs. Mostly I have heard tumbling rocks or a quiet rush and rattle of bushes. And then I’ve seen a tan coloured tail twitch over the top of a ridge above me. And I always felt lucky, and one day when one particular cougar made a habit of following me along a path about 15 km up logging roads from Squamish, I decided it would be prudent to carry a buck knife on my belt. I never used it, but it felt better to have a means of protecting one of the 16 dogs I walked if I needed to.
There is a cougar wandering the Miracle Beach area right now. They aren’t unusual here at all, but when a lets himself be seen by meandering humans, I worry for people and pets in the area, and I worry for him too . When a cougar becomes so familiar with people, that he lets himself be seen, there is a good chance he will make trouble for area residents. And then somebody calls the Conservation Officer and he has to make the only decision that can keep everyone but the cougar safe.
Our local cougar is a big fellow, unusually big and majestic. There have been plenty of rabbits, deer, around to feed him. According to scat I found by a tree behind the trailer, at least one unfortunate cat made its way onto the Cougar’s menu.