Monday, August 29, 2016

I Don't Know

Lucy and I had been email negotiating for weeks. She's lived here most her life and knows where many things are that I don't. I know a lot too. We should trade knowledge. Lucy has conditions. She knows I have a blog and has been on it before. She's nervous that I show things that I find. I explain I do but any photos that I show other than the object that have backgrounds in them I take somewhere else, further away, so people I don't know and don't trust are unable to find the location and do the artifact or object harm or theft. She wants more. No photographs and no telling anybody where they are or taking them there. I don't blame her. Just in the ten plus years I've been here I've seen plenty of damage. Still, we think we've come to a compromise of sorts so I'm on the way into town on Saturday morning to pick her up and do some cultural exchange, maybe, if the agreement holds together. It didn't last time.

It's about 7:30am Saturday morning. I've crossed Hurrah Pass. I'm past Kane Creek. The valley is just starting to narrow into the canyon on the Grand and San Juan County cattle guard divider. A rabbit runs into the road and I slow the truck down so I'm barely moving. I see movement to my right coming down the rocky slope. Something, walks into the road thirty feed in front of me. It's dark colored, ears like a mountain lion, a long tail like a mountain lion, but not much hair and the hair it has is short. It's 30 to 40 pounds, maybe a little more. I'm thinking I'm looking at a mountain lion, but it's too small, and I've never seen one with brown hair like this. Maybe it's a bobcat, but I've seen bobcats and this doesn't look like one. Maybe it's a panther, but out here? It never looks at me. Walks calmly across the road and goes down the hill into the wetlands of sort around Kane Creek. My mind is racing trying to figure out what I just saw but I'm not stopping. I don't want to be late for the meeting with Lucy.

A little further down the road I find this lying in the road. I'm thinking "What could so cleanly shred a ringtail or something similar and not leave skin or blood or anything on the hair?"

I take the hair out of the middle of the road and put it in the back of the truck. I show it to Lucy and she thinks it's part of a wig or something, not off a critter, and looking at it closer I agree.

Saturday evening when I return to the lodge I spend an hour looking at mountain lion pictures, bobcat, panther, red fox, everything i can think of that it could be. I can't figure it out. It appeared focused on the rabbit and didn't care about me. I don't know but from the hundreds of photos I looked at of what could be similar creatures, I don't think this one has ever been photographed before.

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