This fine specimen of Puma concolor posed for a portrait around mid-afternoon last Tuesday on the Shadow Canyon south trail, just a few miles south of Boulder. The photographer is Denver Public Library staffer Rob Jackson, who explains that the mountain lion was kind enough not to snack on his border collie, Murray:
"When I came around a bend, my dog was slowly approaching the lion, who was sideways in the middle of the trail. My dog was about 10 feet away from it; I was back about 100 feet. As soon as I realized what I was looking at, and saw my dog's life flash before my eyes, the cat hissed, just like a tabby. My dog stopped moving, and then I called him back to me in what I am sure was a very loud voice.
"Luckily, he walked rather than ran back to me. The cougar then slowly sauntered off the trail. I remembered I had a camera and decided I could risk taking one picture. Thank goodness for auto exposure/focus."
Thank goodness. Thanks, Rob. And most thankful of all must be Murray, who should stick to herding kittens. – Alan Prendergast