I am fortunate enough not only to live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world, but also to have friends far enough away to make it likely to see something interesting between here and there. Yesterday was a most excellent example.
I left home at 2:00 yesterday to play music at Jim and Carol's house in Cook. I had gone no more than six miles when I saw something moving on highway 73. I couldn't see it well, as it was nearly the same shade of gray as the pavement. My first thought was that it was a deer, but it was too small to be a deer. As I got closer, I thought maybe it was a wolf or coyote, but then I realized its tail was far to short to be either of them, unless a poor wolf or coyote had had its tail bobbed and the tip died black. By the time I was close enough to register that it was a feline of the bobbed-tail variety, it was in the remaining thick snow along the highway and its face and ears were hidden by the weeds along the edge.
"Wow," I thought to myself, "I just saw my very first Bobcat!" I was so excited that I called Scott, leaving a message on the answering machine: "I just saw a Bobcat!"
As I drove further along the road, I realized the cat was about the same size as Sally. I also realized that I had never seen a Bobcat before. Nor had I ever seen a Lynx. Seeing a Lynx is so rare that I discounted the possibility, even though I firmly decided to look both cats up at Carol and Jim's house once I got there.
I looked at the pictures of both cats. I read the descriptions. Hmm. The book said the black on the end of the Bobcats tail was only on top of the tail; my cat's tail was black all the way around the tip, as if it had been dipped in black ink. Not only that, my cat was virtually all the same shade of gray, not somewhat mottled, as is the coat of the Bobcat.
"Wow," I said to Jim and Carol. "I saw a Lynx!" Then we settled in to play a couple hours of good Irish music.