How to See a Bobcat in the Wild!

This evening, around the edges of dusk out in a desert wash, I saw my first bobcat. Wow! It went walking across the wash in front of us, a flash of feline emerging and then disappearing back into the desert night. Magic!

Would you like to see a bobcat too? Here’s how.

Step 1: Make detailed adventure plan—and then let it all go.

With your new hiking friend, plan a detailed itinerary to for a very specific adventure for a Saturday afternoon.

Approximately 18 hours before said adventure, discover that your destination is actually 6 hours away round-trip, and much of it is over rough roads requiring a 4WD vehicle—which neither of you possesses. Sense that somehow this will all work out.

Step 2: “Something magical will happen.”

Receive text from friend: Still meet at 2 pm “and something magical will happen.”

Feel excited. 🙂

Step 3: Become a human compass. Start driving.

Decide to be a human compasses and lean into each direction until you feel the one exact direction that feels right—northwest! Be delighted that your friend gets the exact same direction on her own inner compass.

Start driving.

Finally discover that you are on your way toward mountains on county public land where neither of you has ever been been before. Oooh!

Step 4: Go botanizing and boulder admiring. Go slowly and savor.

Wander along a trail that weaves around the desert up and around a wash before taking you up toward many pleasant boulders, a visual buffet of springtime blooms (some you have never seen before!) and lovely cacti. As you walk, admire stones, pet the flowers, take photos of every pretty plant, pause often, appreciate, enjoy!

botanizing the lichen, wild onion, pretty pink flower

Step 5: Sit and do ceremony.

Up along the trail, become quite smitten with a particular spot with particularly gorgeous rocks and especially lovely plants and decide to stay awhile. Feel the place deeply. Share a ceremony. Experience much gratitude and delight.

Step 6: Sunset joy

Emerge at sunset and hike out into the cool evening air full of joy and wonder at the day. Next, walk out onto the rocky ledge overlooking the canyon—ah!—and then turn and walk back down the trail to the sandy wash, enjoying the sky show of pinks and oranges silhouetting saguaros.

desert sunset

Step 7: Bobcat!

While walking in the wash, be admiring a very large, roundish boulder (the size of a car turned on its end) at the edge of the wash when your friends says one word: “Bobcat!!”

Turn and look, wow!

A flash of feline emerges from the desert trees, crosses from the edge of dusk through the wash, and then disappears back into the night. Magic!

Step 8: 4 questions that will lead you to your (version of a) bobcat!

Wonder if everyone reading this post might ask themselves . . .

. . . “What spontaneous adventure in nature is calling to me?”

       . . . “Where am I drawn to go?”

               . . . “How can I better align my life with where I am called?” 

                       . . . “What area of wild Earth longs to hear me sing my song?” 

What area of wild Earth longs to hear me sing my song?



desert sunset in wash
bobcat habitat 🙂