A bobcat launches a sneak attack on its prey in Yosemite National Park's Cook's Meadow.

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, EF500mm f/4L IS USM at 500 mm, 1/800 sec at f/4, ISO 1600

This bobcat was one of the highlights of my trip with Alison to Yosemite back in November. We first spotted it boldly coming up the path towards us early one morning in Cook’s Meadow. I was scouting landscape photographs with a wide angle lens on my camera, but upon seeing the bobcat, I sprinted back to our van to get my long lens. In the span of five to ten minutes that I was gone, Alison reported seeing the bobcat kill four rodents. I guess it was nearly sated, because I only saw it attempt one more kill (unsuccessful) that morning before it wandered off and found a spot to nap away the middle of the day.

We returned to Cook’s Meadow that afternoon because I wanted to photograph some golden-leaved oak trees which were backlit by the late-day sun. Much to my surprise, the bobcat reappeared and went back to work reducing Yosemite’s rodent population. I saw it proceed to make five more kills by dusk, bringing his daily total to at least nine. He was absolutely unafraid of my presence and allowed me to photograph him at close range.

A bobcat approaches fearlessly in Yosemite Valley.

Canon 1D Mark IV, EF500mm f/4L IS USM, 1/1600 sec at f/4, ISO 1600

Here the bobcat stares me straight in the eye and walks directly towards me. I had to back up to prevent him from getting inside the minimum focus distance of my 500mm lens (about fifteen feet) so I could continue taking pictures.

A bold bobcat saunters by allowing frame-filling headshots in Yosemite Valley.

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, EF500mm f/4L IS USM at 500 mm, 1/800 sec at f/4, ISO 1600

As evidence of just how close the bobcat approached, this image is a full frame headshot. The only cropping I did was to remove a bit of negative space from the left edge of the frame, making the picture conform to the popular 11 X 14 aspect ratio.

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