Jan 192014
Mountain Lion Active in this area...

Mountain Lion Active in this area. Sign in Coal Creek Canyon by Colorado Parks & Wildlife

Here in Coal Creek Canyon Colorado we’ve been having mountain lion problems.

According to Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW, formally Colorado Division of Wildlife) the deer populations are down in the area. Unfortunately that translates to these lions turning to other pray. So far the community has lost 2, 3 or maybe as many as 4 dogs to these lions.

One attack was early, 05:30 hours, where three dogs and two humans were out walking (a morning constitutional.) The lion took the older trailing dog.

Another attack was late, at 21:30 (9:30PM) at night. Another large dog was out, with it’s human around. The lion was difficult to scare off.

Here is what Colorado Parks & Wildlife say about living in Mountain Lion Country with the pets portions being:

Keep your pet under control. Roaming pets are easy prey and can attract lions. Bring pets in at night. If you leave your pet outside, keep it in a kennel with a secure top. Don’t feed pets outside; this can attract raccoons and other animals that are eaten by lions. Store all garbage securely.

Mountain Lion typically hunt at dawn, dusk and at night. The main lesson takeaway is to keep your pets safe at these times. Don’t let them roam, don’t let them out at these times unsupervised, and keep them close. If you are interested in some reading around this topic, this book is actually based in this area.

Now any Mountain Lion can be dangerous by itself, and they are typically solitary animals. That said, a mother Mountain Lion and her cubs travel and hunt together. What then when a mother has twins? Here are three lions photographed in Coal Creek Canyon recently:

Mom (the leader of the line.)

Mother and Two

Mother (look into the dark) and Two “Cubs”

Dec 212010

(This post sat in the drafts folder for too long, so I am setting it free. :) )

Original railway across the mouth of Coal Creek Canyon

This year’s closure of highway 72 due to an impact with the bridge by truck have caused more closures than even this year’s train derailment. As such our family trips and commutes between Coal Creek Canyon and Golden/Boulder/Denver have been via Golden Gate State Park and/or Flagstaff (passing Walker Ranch & Gross Reservoir.) These trips have been longer than usual, but glorious in wildlife & scenery.

Coming down through Golden Gate State Park of a morning allows iconically Colorado views of Elk browsing through sun-light streaks and Aspen trees. That atop priceless views out to the snow emphasized mountain peaks of the continental divide. Easier in spring than in the blizzards of winter, and a fantastic drive.

Bighorn Sheep on Highway 6

One return trip we elected to come up Highway 6 (towards Blackhawk, then along Highway 119.) I always enjoy the sights of Bighorn sheep along that route, and maintain it is the local place for Coloradans and tourists to get some fun close-ups of sheep (from the luxury of their car.) This trip was no exception, with 5 males with huge horns right by the roadside. Hugh horns, solid and powerful. Wonderful.

To make another change we took a route via Boulder, Flagstaff mountain and Gross Reservoir. Suddenly a bobcat crosses the road right in front of us. Rather than disappearing into the woods the bobcat chose a group of rocks and bedded down. The cats tail was long, perhaps a foot long, with a white tip.

Interestingly this tail hardly stopped moving, the cat flicked it continually. Note: how the magpie are crying their disapproval at the cat, and a hummer buzzes on by.

Long-tailed Bobcat Video

Here is an unedited clip.

All in all…

All in all, despite quite a lot of disruption to our schedule and increased journey times, there was some real upside to exploring new routes in/out of the canyon.