We walked the old cart path of the former golf course. The sun had returned with a break in the “atmospheric river.” Our own Carmel River roared close by, and all that had been brown just months ago now glowed with green intensity. And then there was a shadow. Barely noticeable among the dead winter reeds, it moved. Just a step. Then two. Then it stopped. Head down, the bobcat waited for an unseen prey, perhaps a plump mouse or a tasty vole hidden beneath the spring grasses. But approaching chatter–two moms with a baby in a backpack and the requisite black yoga pants– unsettled the bobcat who turned to slip back to the heavier brush. We waited at a distance for the women to pass, and I stood wishing for that 400mm telephoto lens I know I’d never carry. But, good equipment or not, I was still rewarded with that moment. The hunter circled back. He stopped to taste the air and to admire my brilliant blue raincoat. I took my shots, and we parted: he to his lunch and we to our walk.

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