For some time, I have known that there is a large feline predator running around near our campground. My thought was it was a bobcat or a mountain lion. I have never seen it, just heard it skulking through the darkness, avoiding the lights.
During the last seven years, we have seen rabbits, but never very many. A person might see one a weekend, two or three if there is a family.
Not this year. This year, if you threw a stone, you’d be sure to hit a rabbit. They are breeding like, well, like rabbits. More importantly, they are surviving.
This means that our feline predator is probably dead or relocated. It is this delicate balance of predator and prey that keeps the rabbit population in check. Without that predator, the prey are becoming prolific. I don’t believe the ecosystem up here is entirely out of balance, but it has noticeable changed.
I also haven’t heard the night time stalker this year. My SO thinks I’m crazy, but it’s quiet up here, especially during the week and at one or two in the morning, when no one is out and about, a person can hear a lot. Including the soft foot falls of a good sized animal, stealthily moving about, just outside the range of the lights. These noises are not the rabbits, raccoons, or opossums, they don’t care about the lights. At night, they will wander right up to the porch, even as I sit on the steps, indulging in bad habits, with the light on behind me.
Nope, this was something completely different and I will just have to wait for another one to take its place, before I may get a glimpse of the creature. I’ll know one’s back, because all the freakin’ rabbits will start disappearing.