I missed the shot…..

I am in my yard, talking on the phone to a friend and watching my kids swing in the homemade swing their father built them underneath the magnolia tree…. I should explain here that my house is on a hill that overlooks a small valley that is bordered by a several hundred acre forest….all of a sudden I see what appears to be a house cat walking along a ridge close to the woodline. As I try to continue my phone conversation, it dawns on me how far away this cat is (my husband tells me later it is a distance of 300-350 yards) and that I should not even be able to see a normal sized house cat at this distance. So, I tell my friend I see something strange and that I will call her back and I tell my daughter to run inside and get my camera. As the cat walks closer to a clump of trees, the realization hits how big this thing is compared to the trees. This is definitely NOT a house cat!

My daughter brings me the camera and as I am taking the lens cap off, my three year old sees the cat in the field and screams “cat, cat!” He then takes off running toward it (he likes to chase cats šŸ™‚ ) causing the cat to stop and look straight at us. I felt like we were at a safe distance but still didn’t want to tempt fate and allow my son to get any closer to whatever-this-thing-was, especially now that it has noticed us! So, as any Mom would do, I dropped the camera, chased the the kid, and missed the shot.

By the time I get the kids safely inside, the cat is, of course, gone.

To make an already long story a bit shorter…. all of the outdoorsy men of my family and neighborhood are convinced I have seen a Florida panther. Several of the people in our community have also seen it also. My uncle, who works for our state Wildlife agency tells me that they get many reports of these animals in our state, but no one as ever been able to take a picture or prove they live here. So, in other words, had I snapped the picture it would have been a big deal, at least to a bunch of wildlife biologists ;)! My uncle claims the photo that I didn’t get to take would have made the cover of every wildlife magazine in the state.

Frankly, I don’t care about proving whether Florida panthers are living in Mississippi or not… I do however, care that there is a large, panther-like thing roaming the woods around my house!!! This probably explains the horse’s nervous behavior as of late and makes me wonder if I should be riding her out in the woods anymore! And of course, the kids will be watched with eagle eyes from this point on when they play outside!

So, that is my exciting story for the week and this is the only picture I have to show for it….have you ever missed a great shot?



8 thoughts on “I missed the shot…..

  1. Oh my goodness! You may see it again so keep a look out… I must admit I laughed when the picture of your three year old running after it was described. I’d love to remember how to live life without fear šŸ™‚

  2. I think I would be a bit uncomfortable too, if a panther was roaming near our home! I’ve met a whole wild boar family in the woods before now – didn’t even think of taking a photo, but just planned my safest exit – backwards!

  3. Wow! I miss fleeting shots all the time, but nothing that exciting!

    Hiking the A.T., I met a guy who swore he’d seen a black panther crossing the road at night – in New Hampshire. On the PCT a couple of times hikers reported seeing cougars five minutes before or after I went through the area, oblivious. Spooky to think I’d probably been watched. Nothing like a bit of cryptozoology to make you look at your surroundings in a fresh way.

    Hope you get another chance…

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