Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"New" History

"Joe writes home" is over 100 comments now, and some "new" history is coming out about Bull Creek, Panther Gap, Shelter Cove, and Honeydew. Here's the link for the interested. Joe writes home

Other newsie notes: Mountain Lions are numerously being sighted in the area of the ridge between Dean Creek and Little Buck Mountain creek. One was hit in the road, and it's mother hung around for a while. A man I know said that he saw a Mountain lion that was redder than most and seemed to have a dark patch on it's head and down the center of it's neck. He also said that he had a Lynx eating his chickens. He said that the cat had hairs sticking up from it's ears and cheeks, and off it's elbows. I'm not arguing with him about his stories, he is a fairly credible person and has lived in the hills for a LONG time, and has seen many mountain lions and bobcats. But, if I had seen either of those animals, I would have waited until somebody else mentioned it first, then I would have said "Yeah, Me too".

But, you can only imagine the first time that I saw, a Road-runner, a Pheasant, an Opossum, and a Wild Turkey, right here in Southern Humboldt. All separate occasions. Yes, I waited until somebody else announced it first.

The ridge up the hill from where the freeway goes over Dean Creek hill, has a large rock on it that has several Mountain Lion dens of yore in it. Or, is there mountain lions that still live in it??? When I was young and stupid, or I should say “stupider”, I crawled back into the cracks in the rocks to see. It’s dark and spooky, cold and scary. I was never so glad to be back outside of anything in my life. I still get the chills thinking about it. I guess that I’m glad that I didn’t find any Panthers!


Anonymous said...

I saw a mountain lion once and I didn't even shoot it. I wasn't going to ever tell anyone but it has been a long time ago now so I guess it won't hurt my reputation too much.


Bunny said...

We had a big one here on Bear Butte Rd. a couple years ago. Kirby saw it first and a week or so later it crossed in front of me on the road. I came around a corner one night and there it was. It's tail was long and thick. But our neighbors tell of cats getting eaten and dogs getting scared.

Ben said...

Several locals told me that Bear Butte had a mountain lion den. I've only seen one and that was at a considerable distance and years ago.

Robin Shelley said...

A roadrunner?!! In Humboldt Co.? Are you sure?!!
(Of course, that's what I said when I first saw a 'possum in L'ville!)

suzy blah blah said...

-Suzy's had a couple of encounters. Once, as a teenager, i was alone in the woods sitting on a hill in the thick forest, this was mid-day, i was just sitting there by myself, waiting for my friend who had been walking with me but had gone back to get something he'd forgotten. As i sat there i noticed the birds about 100ft away had gotten all excited and were jabbering to each other excitedly about something. For some reason i decided to climb a small tree and a moment later --a long tailed mt lion slowly and majestically strolled directly under me, coming from the direction of the birds, its fur brushed against the tree that i was in! I had a good look at it, but it was apparently unaware of my presence only 5ft above. Maybe the wind was blowing in the right direction so it didn't get my scent or something, i don't know. Another time i was walking on a trail at sunset and coming around a turn i encountered one running full speed ahead, directly at me! Apparently it was chasing something. We beheld each other simultaneously --then in a fraction of a mini-second, before i had time to react, it reversed its direction all-at-once and all i saw was the long tail disappearing into the bush. It was only about 15ft from me when it reversed directions. I've also seen them occasionally from the car. Last summer i saw one crossing the Ettersburg Rd on telegraph ridge, long furry tail. It always puts me right 'in the moment', kinda like meeting a god or something.

Ross Sherburn said...

Oregon probably remembers the one hanging on the wall,in the Tackle Shop!!!!

ekovox said...

I consider myself extremely lucky in that I have seen five mountain lions over the years, while my father who had lived in the mountains for 75 years didn't see one.

My first siting was on the Trinity River below our home in Willow Creek. The cat was just casually drinking water in the river when I looked over the bluff to see it. I ran to get my mother, but it had wandered away. The lion wasn't 200 feet from our house.

about 7 or 8 years later, while working on summer for the Forest Service, I saw two teenage mountain lions walking side by side along a cut block about 50 yards from me. My seeing it really excited the Piss Fir Willy wildlife biologist and together we went back to the former logging show and found tracks. The man was as giddy as they get.

15 years later, I saw one run across the road in front of me coming down Fickle Hill Road in Arcata. It ran behind a house. I drove up into their driveway and began honking my horn. No one was home to be warned.

Then a couple of years ago, Ladyfriend and I were driving back from Trinidad on Highway 101 and I thought a big dog had lumbered across the highway...nope, she spotted was a mountain lion. On the Highway near Trinidad.

Now, as reformed and avowed city slicker, I do feel lucky being able to witness one of natures wonders. Now, you know, I've never seen a coyote, fox or kingsnake, but have seen bobcats, civet cats and several rattlers.

Natures creatures don't frighten me, but man sure does.

~Ross Rowley

gabby haze said...

rantastic stories!
let's add ernie's previous 2008 post on mountain lions certain longwinded ones don't have to repeat themselves.

suz, those all alone out in the wilderness encounters with the liongods were my favorites ever.
you, deservedly, were blessed.

olmanriver said...

f, not r, in fantastic gabby.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Just don't get between a mountain lion and their "kill". They will defend it like like sick people defend medical marijuana.

I'm not sure what it says about modern society, but we are far more likely to see a mountain lion today than we would have in the fifties. The ranchers back then would hunt them down and kill them at the first sign of them being in the south fork canyon. Sheep are great mountain lion food.

Ernie Branscomb said...

"Natures creatures don't frighten me, but man sure does.

Man is the only one that can carry pure evil in their hearts. That's why people cry at movies about cruelty to animals, but can watch people get blown away without even a flinch.

suzy blah blah said...

Just don't get between a mountain lion and their "kill".

-gosh thanks for the wise advice Ernie, i'll try to remember that if i possibly can, but my memory's not too good so wish me luck. As you well know, it's a wild world out here, there's big cats that kill sheep, and there's evil in men's hearts and when men go to the movies they carry that evil right into the theater and sit down in the row behind you with it in their heart. And sometimes they carry a hammer to hit things with. That's why i never cry at movies if i can help it, you never know what kind of person might be sitting behind you, making judgments about what you are crying about. Looking at your tears as a sign of ignorance and weakness... seeing it as a signal that's telling them that your vulnerability makes you a candidate for their next evil "kill". Nope, Suzy's no fool, if i need to cry i go to the bathroom.

But now you got me thinking about good 'n' evil and stuff which leads me to wonder if mountain lions have sharp memories or not. They say that cats have nine lives, that's a lot of history to reminisce about. I've heard theories of ancient runes found in Norse caves having been scratched into stones by large cats. Perhaps the mountain lion is our superior when it comes to story telling and language skills. And if we could learn to listen to them and communicate with them instead of shooting them down then maybe they'd tell us the story of how evil originally was smuggled into soHum by hiding inside of man's heart.

Idaho said...

Probably not a good idea to sit in front of certain people an' their hammer at a 3D movie, eh?!

Idaho said...

Hey Suzy, did your fur go up on the back of your neck when you had that sudden on the path turn-around lion encounter? Running at you until it was 15 feet away. OMG(ess)! That experience is a life long treasure.

suzy blah blah said...

-it was awesome and i swear i'm not exaggerating, it may have been as close as ten feet! But hey i didn't have time to get scared, it was all over in a few seconds time. I did reverse direction though and i walked backwards for several paces, going back the way i'd come and then taking the long way around to get to my destination :) The other encounter i had, when i sat in the tree above the cat, i got a much better look. The light was better and the animal was even closer and moving slowly. I know the area where they live which is in a fir stand off of that path. I've heard some weird sounds coming from that area, i'm gonna pay more attention to them now after hearing Ernie's and Naoma's accounts. I think i've heard that bird like sound coming from there but i can't be sure. I'd like to try and listen more cuz i'm fascinated by the sounds animals make. There's a lot of coyotes near me and they really party down sometimes, howling like some kinda Dionysusian orgy. Sometimes i like to just sit and listen to the birds. I've noticed how they imitate each other. I think imitation is an instinct, it's one of the instincts that we humans share with animals. It's the way we learn to do stuff, by imitation.

I still walk that path occasionally, but now i try to remember to whistle or sing as i pass the fir stand, to let them know i'm there. I'm not afraid of them, i don't know why, maybe i'm dumb, but i just don't feel any fear. It's more like a feeling of deep connection. I feel blessed to have them in such close proximity. I've seen a fox in that area too, and there's bearshit all over that path in the winter.

oldmanriver said...

This place had a small madrone with a scratches going up 12 feet. Heavy regular use as you could see by the number of partially healed scars in the bark. Then I enclosed it in my fenceline. As you may have read on the link, the previous occupant of my home had his little dog carried off in a lions jaws midday.
But your closeness to those cats in those experiences was a double gift!
Close encounters of the Wild Kind are sacred, as you gnow.

Idaho said...

I feel that it is my civic duty to warn the tribe of a bear feeding in the Seely Creek watershed. A certain party had their kitchen ravaged three days in a row. They said that the bear had tossed undesirable food items aside with abandon, but unscrewed the caps on three honey jars just fine.

oldmanriver said...

I was a mile south of the last dwelling on Benbow Drive, and saw what I thought was a bobcat in the road. It was distinctly larger than a housecat, distinctly. As I pulled alongside I saw the same elbow, cheek and ear tufts as your friend described but it had sort of green tiger housecat markings. the tufts on the ears did not go up to a point.
I pulled to a stop and got out of the car when the cat went over the bank, and snuck over to the edge and had a face-off with a long legged lynxtufted housecat? Not enough wild in those eyes but it was huge, and I have a large housecat. I wondered if a bobcat could mate with a housecat. Any guesses?

Naoma said...

To Suzy Blah Blah, from Naoma.

I just read your comments on Ernie's page about your experience with the blessed that you were able to have such good views of the
cats!!! Again I do not know how I got into his "Painter" blog. I start
hunting for stuff of the Humboldt Area and can't figure out how to send a
message or even how I got the messages......I will not admit to "old
timers" disease. I even tried to set up something so I could make
comments, with out bothering Ernie...and the directions just got me more
confused. Keep up the chatter. You seem like a very interesting
person. Naoma

Anonymous said...

Here it is, the place about cats. Stay with me here, I have a cat story. After breakfast this morning I put on a pot of beans. I don't care much for the ham hocks I find in the grocery stores so I buy small ham roasts and cure them myself. Ernie's dad taught me how to do this with deer meat. I know, everybody thinks Ernie taught me everything but that is not true. One day I asked Uncle Everett what the firing order of a six cylinder was, ( 153624) after he told me as I was leaving I heard him say "dumb ass kids". I loved that man, he taught me how to run a cat, skid logs and started me on my shooting. Ernie had nothing to do with that stuff.
The reason I bring this all up is as I was slicing my bell pepper and onion up and getting my cured ham out I got to thinking about all this.
Back to the cat story, another thing I learned, and fast, is you don't just walk into Aunt Elsie's kitchen with a handful of bobcat steaks and ask her to cook them.


P.S. Also when I was young, this girl taught me things I had no idea about and my Uncle's words rang in my head. Dumb ass kids.

Anonymous said...

Ernie had nothing to do with that stuff:
Should read, "Ernie had nothing to do with teaching me that stuff."

Crud; Another verification word.