Saturday, October 31, 2015

Cougar? I barely saw 'ar!

Something neat happened the morning of October 19.

First, some background.  Back when I was driving in Houston traffic, I got into the habit of mounting a camcorder on my car dashboard to capture evildoers in the act of evildoing. I ended up with hundreds of hours of boring footage of evildoing, which I eventually decided not to do anything useful with. But I got into the habit, which is the point.

So fast-forward to 2015. The pace out here is a bit slower, and although evildoers still do evil deeds in traffic, I encounter fewer of them on a day-to-day basis. So the habit has kinda fallen off, sadly.

I say “sadly” because on two occasions I’ve had close encounters with wildlife that would have made for very nice video. The first, back in January, occurred as I was driving out through Groesbeck to renew my driver’s license. A fawn dashed across the road right in front of me, and even though I slowed down mightily, it still had to complete the crossing by leaping over my hood.

No video evidence.

This morning I was within seconds of running late for work, so I dashed out to the car without the camcorder. Big mistake. I ended up being late anyway, because of the construction on 1245 (they have to periodically resurface the entire road because of the damage done to it by the gravel trucks). I waited more than 5 minutes for the pilot truck to show up and lead me through the construction zone. I called ahead to work to let them know, and then once I was able to drive through, put on a bit of speed.

About two miles past the construction zone, I watched a puma scoot across the road, not a hundred yards in front of me. It was AWESOME.

No video evidence.

It’s been sighted in the area in previous years, most recently about a year ago. One of my dad’s poker buddies, Skipper (the town veterinarian), saw it coming off of Mott White’s property. That’s pretty close to where I saw it. More interestingly, it’s about three miles past the current turnaround point of my morning jog, which means, in theory, I’m running on that big cat’s territory at least every other day. Alone.

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