The population of the human race has reached an all-time high of 7.5 billion! We have reached every corner of Earth, but there are still parts of the world where the animals have control. These feral lands are abundant with diverse wildlife. Sometimes, in cities that border the wild, animals and humans come into contact with each other and it’s always a surprise when a wild animal decides to knock on your door. This is exactly what happened recently to one man.
The definition of “wilderness” is usually described as an uninhabited, uncultivated, and inhospitable land area. The word’s root comes from Old English meaning “land inhabited by wild animals.” It’s an easy picture to paint. Massive deserts, frozen landscapes of ice, and dense forests. Places where Wi-Fi is non-existent and there’s no use for cell phones. Only 23 percent of the Earth falls under the category of wilderness. Only a few decades ago, close to 50 percent of the Earth’s land was considered wilderness. Luckily, not all of the wild areas are empty of life.
One of the places with the lushest forests is the wilderness of the Taiga. The Taiga is an extremely dense forest that completely stretches around the northern hemisphere like a band. It can be found in a large portion of Russia, Scandinavia, Northern Japan, and the Arctic Circle. The forest can also be located in parts of Canada and the northern United States. Actually, the largest state is almost covered entirely by the Taiga.
Alaska is almost completely covered by the Taiga. The forests can be found deep in the large state. Spruces, pine trees, cedars, and hemlocks cover 10.9 million acres of land. Most flora cannot survive the harsh climate of the cold Taiga, but with lichens and moss by their side, the “needle-leaf” trees dominate the area. In the summer alone, temperatures can get down to 20 degrees, but that’s nothing compared to the -65 degree winters. Regardless of the intense conditions, the wildlife in the Taiga thrives.
Most people think that Alaska is constantly covered with a blanket of snow. Even though there is quite a bit of snow in the winter months, a lot of the state can have pretty mild temperatures. This is where the majestic animals play. There are 32 different carnivore species that live in Alaska, which is more than any other state. Wolves, brown bears, coyotes, and wolverines call Alaska their home. But one creature, in particular, comes to mind when we think of Alaska.
This close relative to the domesticated house cat is the Canadian lynx. The Canadian lynx is a medium-sized cat, that is usually a nocturnal hunter of smaller animals, like mice. Thanks to its incredible eyesight, a Canadian lynx can spot a mouse from over 250 feet away! They can be found all over North America, and are close to the size of a bobcat. They usually spend their time alone, but will also live as a family when their cubs are young.
The family structure of a Canadian lynx family can be found in the bond between mother and offspring. But once they reach a certain age, the offspring will live a solitary life by hunting for themselves and claiming their own territory. During mating season the males will become social and the females will hunt in packs with their children, but other than that, these cats like to live a solitary life, hunting their favorite prey, the snowshoe hare. And they’ll do just about anything for some hare, including going into human spaces.
A lynx wouldn’t think twice about following a rabbit into its hole, finding itself in an entirely different part of the Taiga. The Taiga stretches out to parts of Alaska’s coastal areas, like Anchorage, the most active place in Alaska. The population of Alaska is pretty large, with its 300,000 residents. But once you leave the hustle and bustle of the city streets, you find yourself looking at a completely different scenery. Because of this, one man found out how truly wild Anchorage can be.
If you choose to live in Alaska you have to expect to see some wildlife. Moose like to take strolls down Main Street, bald eagles enjoy taking dips in the harbors, and the wolves serenade the humans every night with their howling songs. Tim Newton thought he was prepared for anything. One early morning, Tim was woken up by a loud noise on his deck. When he looked out the window, he was shocked to find a small lynx kitten sitting on his porch. Tim immediately got to work!
Tim just happens to be a nature photographer, so obviously he knew he needed to capture the kitten. Tim captures the life of Anchorage and the wild area surrounding it. His incredible images of bears, stunning Alaskan landscapes, eagles, and moose are showcased on his Facebook page and his website, Ruggedalaska.com. He knew that lynx enjoyed eating snowshoe hare, so they would hunt in a loop to in order to hunt them while they migrate. He also knew he could get some great shots of them!
Tim figured that if there was one kitten, there would surely be more on the way, and he wasn’t wrong. Tim ended up being able to film seven silly kittens playing in the snow that had fallen in his backyard. One lynx even got curious about what was going on inside, too. In the videos he posted online, the kitten could be seen visiting the back door. Even though he kept looking in, the other kittens just kept playing with each other.
While Tim was standing on his porch filming, the kittens were more than happy to keep playing in the snow, wrestling, and chasing each other around. Their large paws made them a little clumsy, so they kept bumping into each other while trying to navigate the slippery porch. One of the kittens was chasing its sibling onto a table, while another one was hiding underneath it. But thanks to Tim, the video was truly thrilling.
Since the kittens were using furniture as a launch pad and they were jumping off of tables onto their sibling’s backs, the video looks like a cage match on Friday Night Smackdown. One of the scenes pictured on Ruggedalaska.com is captioned “The Battle Of Snowshoe.” Snowshoe Mania 4 lasted for several minutes. Tim stood by while the kittens showed off their athleticism in battle. The cats were having an amazing time playing in the snow, that was until an authoritative figure arrived on the scene.
All of a sudden the kittens were running away. That’s when Tim realized what had made them leave. He heard a sound that called for the kittens to line up. As soon as their mother appeared, the kittens knew that it was time for them to stop playing around and stand next to their mother. She was obviously a loving mother, and she commanded respect from her young, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t have fun with her kittens.
All of a sudden, the mama lynx started playing, too! She was rolling around with her young while the others enjoyed the deck. This went on for almost an hour! While the kittens continued playing, the mama can be seen on the video patrolling the deck area. She even checks out the cameraman, but she realized almost immediately that he wasn’t a threat to her or her young. Maybe she just felt really comfortable in Tim’s backyard.
This was the first time the lynxes had actually gone up to Tim’s deck. A few months’ earlier, before the snow had fallen, Tim had filmed the mother and some of her kittens. For their first interaction, Tim used still photography. Even though there were only four kittens, they still had a great time playing near the house. On his site, pictures of the lynxes relaxing on his lawn can be found. Their coats look incredible when photographed against the bright green grass. Tim isn’t sure the next time they will visit, but he’s thinking about inviting them inside for breakfast next time.