Below is the third photo in a series of wild Bobcat photographs taken in Yosemite National Park in early March. This is one of many very close photos I was able to capture of this beautiful wild creature. Ironically my entire trip to Yosemite was devoid of wildlife encounters until I began my drive to leave for home at mid-day.
Wild Bobcat (Lynx rufus, Yosemite National Park
The story behind this photo and wildlife encounter is that I was leaving the park and got stuck behind a small traffic jam of 4 cars. As the backup cleared I drove slowly by a shaded snowy embankment. Just as I turned my head to the left to see what people might be slowing for the head of this cat popped up. In fact the bobcat stared me square in the eye as I passed. To date I’ve had horrible luck photographing bobcats so I was very frustrated I couldn’t pull over immediately. After driving a 1/4 mile or so I finally found a spot to safely pull over and park my car. I quickly got my camera out and attached my 70-200mm f/2.8 lens and 2x TC. I was actually quite pessimistic I’d be able to catch up to the bobcat to photograph it, but I decided to give it my best shot. I ran towards the meadow across from my last sighting of the cat.
At the time the park was covered with a thick snow covering from a large storm the previous week. This made running around tricky. The meadows were covered in snow 2-3 feet deep with a few clearings of dead grass scattered across the landscape. Trying my best to stay out of the snow I ran parallel to a guessed path of the cat as quietly as possible. After 3-5 minutes of tracking the bobcat I found it standing in the shade of some trees. I took a few quick “look I saw a bobcat” photos mostly of its profile with very busy backgrounds and decided to try my luck moving ahead of its path to photograph him/her coming straight at me. It was very important to not disturb the bobcat so I aggressively ran far ahead and would take up position out of the cat’s view. I consistently guessed correctly where it was heading next enabling me to get quite a few good photographs. In one instance the cat walked with in 30-40 feet of me oblivious to my presence. The result was the photo you see above.
[tags]Yosemite, National Park, wildlife, photo, photography, Lynx rufus, wild, stock[/tags]