Living With Nature
Living with nature can be a blessing and also a curse. Sometimes you get to witness some of the most amazing creatures on earth, and sometimes, you get to deal with the chaos they create when they rummage through your stuff. One man got to experience the better side of nature but it caught him by surprise.
Tim Newton is a professional photographer that is used to capturing rare moments on film. He woke up one morning to a ruckus on his porch and he expected to see a family of stray cats or maybe a neighbors dog lounging around. The thought of seeing some wildlife crossed his mind, but only because that’s what he does for a living. When he peeked through the curtains he got the shock of his life.
Newton lives in Anchorage, Alaska, which is one of the best places on earth to be a wildlife photographer. Usually, he has to put in some work to capture wildlife on film, finding a good spot and sometimes waiting for hours to get the perfect shot. However, on this day, he was lucky enough to wake up to an amazing moment that seemingly landed in his lap.
Summer and Winter
Summer and winter in Alaska are vastly different, opening up opportunities for Newton to capture the gorgeous landscapes. He gets to see different animals depending on what time of year it is, and he usually gets many opportunities to witness natures marvels. He lives near a state park, so occasionally, he gets a few crazy visitors.
Last year, Tim awoke to some noise that made him rush outside to capture a potentially amazing moment. He popped his head out the door and found himself staring right back at a large black bear. Alaska has nearly 100,000 black bears so it was no surprise one wandered up to his porch. However, this time when he heard the familiar noise of a wild animal, it wasn’t just one creature, but many.
When interviewed by the Dodo, Tim remembered what he was thinking the early morning he heard the strange noises, “It was right near dawn. I heard some noises. It was like something scrambling on the deck. Coming out of my slumber, I thought, ‘What the heck is that?’ So I… slowly eased back the curtain.” What he was about to see would eventually go viral, intriguing people all around the world.
When he looked out the window, he saw the tiny bum of a cat. The cat was using his deck as a playground, nothing too out of the ordinary. So he went back to bed, thinking nothing of it. Laying in bed, he realized he needed to take a second look at the cat because something just wasn’t sitting right.
Not a House Cat
When he took a second look, he realized the cat had huge feet. Not only that, but its ears were extremely pointed with tiny hairs at the very tips. It when then, that he realized this wasn’t an ordinary house cat, it was something completely different.
A Lynx Kitten
The cat that had come to visit Tim in the early morning hours was a lynx kitten! It’s not normal to see these elusive cats, especially baby ones. Although Tim is used to capturing many animals living in the middle of nature, he rarely gets to see these cuties. He quickly grabbed his camera and started snapping away.
There are four types of lynx cats, including, Eurasian, Canada, Iberian and bobcat lynx. Their elusive nature makes them a rare sight to see, but also helps them stay out of danger from hunters. All four types share similar characteristics, including their medium statures. They live about seven years on average and have distinctive reflective eyes.
Their distinctive ears are developed for precise hearing, and the tiny hairs that line the tips are what aid them in this necessary sense. Their fierce hunters that normally travel alone, however, occasionally, they are seen traveling in small packs.
They generally live in climates that are cold, and their giant paws help them spread their weight across snowy banks. Their feet make them look slightly cartoon-like, but everything on their body has a special purpose. Their eyesight is incredibly sharp, allowing them to see small mice and small rodents from up to 250 feet away. The one Tim initially saw was clearly a baby and he looked too young to be alone.
When Tim was interviewed by the Dodo he said, “Normally… you have just enough time to get your camera out, and then they’re gone.” But this time, he had what seemed to be the chance of a lifetime. It was then that he noticed, there was a lot more to see.
When he looked around some more, he noticed there were multiple kittens playing on his deck. Being so young, they were very playful, finding almost anything and everything amusing. He couldn’t believe his eyes, “He was sitting there watching [two or three] siblings race by. They were running back and forth, pouncing on each other. [So] I started snapping away. I thought, ‘Wow! What incredible luck.’”
And then, he realized there was even more to see.
He was able to take about 20 incredible photos until the babies wandered off. He started to put away his camera, thinking his photo shoot was over. But then, he thought about the mother, she must have been close by because these wee-ones were just too small to be alone.
All of a sudden, things got a lot more exciting.
A Whole Family
He was able to witness an entire lynx family, including seven babies and mama! They were all staring back at him in awe, as he was with them. “I’ve never seen so many lynx,” Tim told the Dodo. The gorgeous creatures were not only a rare sight to see, but Tim knew he needed to share these photos with the world because everyone needed to see this amazing sight.
Back at it Again
They stared at Tim for a while, curious at what he was doing. Then, they all began to play again, using his deck as a playground. “To see all these lynx on my deck… I was gob-smacked. They started to play again,” he remembered. “For the next 40 minutes, they all played on my deck. They were chasing each other, rolling and wrestling,” he recounted. There was one kitten that took a special interest in Tim.
A Scared Face
For a moment Tim took his camera away from his face and the kitten was able to see his eyes, becoming terrified and realizing there was a creature behind the camera. “I don’t know why I did this – maybe to say to him, ‘Oh, what a cute little kitty. But I pulled the camera away from my face a little, and my eyes showed. The look of terror on that kitten’s face!”
Although it scared him, it made for a great photo.
An Encounter to Remember
The other kittens didn’t seem too bothered with Tim, and they all continued playing. The encounter was one that he will remember forever, which is why he wanted to share the pictures on the Internet for everyone to enjoy. Many people commented on his photos, thanking him for sharing such a wonderful experience.
Tim now has a new found respect for mother lynx’s and the job they have caring for so many babies, “She has her hands full. I’ve concluded that lynx must spend 1 percent of their waking lives chasing rabbits and 99 percent chasing their kids. What a handful!” Through Facebook Tim shared his true feelings about wildlife,“We respect the wildlife deeply and are always so honored to have them as our guests.”