Alaska resident Tim Newton has woken up to strange sounds on his deck before. He lives on a mountainside next to a national park, so he’s no stranger to wildlife traipsing into his backyard. But a couple weeks ago, the photographer heard something he hadn’t before… and peaked out the window to see seven playful lynx kittens, followed by their mom!
“They woke me from my slumber at local dawn, scrambling back and forth across my deck, just outside my window,” Newton told iHeartCats. “Their huge scrambly feet made an unfamiliar slapping sound as they raced about. Very curiously unfamiliar. Enough to make me want to get up and look.”
At first, Newton assumed a litter of feral kittens had found their way onto his deck, then realized they were much bigger.
“My first thought was that three (domestic) cats had taken over my deck and were fighting! The kittens at this age are about the same size or larger than full-grown domestic cats.”
Newton told iHeartCats that this isn’t the first time he’s seen wildlife so close to his house.
“I’ve been woken up by bear on the deck before,” he explained. “So I’m always a bit nervous if I hear something outside. But this definitely didn’t sound like a bear, so I wasn’t exactly afraid… But I also could [not] quite imagine just what it was, so I was a little nervous, for sure!”
This lynx family, he said, was special. Having only seen the species a handful of times in his life, and only for a fleeting glimpse, the photographer couldn’t believe he had time to grab his camera – and snap photos of the furry family for a full 40 minutes!
“I have never seen this lynx family before, and fully expect I will never get to see them again,” he told iHeartCats. “They travel far and wide every day, and mostly hunt at night – I understand – and sleep in the day. So even if they’re near, you just don’t see them.”
“I think they took a play break on the deck after a long night of hunting, and imagine that when they melted back into the hillside as the sun came up, they were looking for a private hollow in the woods where they could sleep off the frolic.”
Newton is thrilled that his story and stunning pictures are being shared all over the internet. “It’s really been fun to be a part of altering the news stream for the better – if only for a moment,” he told us.
And, he says there are more pictures to come. “I have a number of photos yet to share from the encounter, and will be putting them up in the coming days,” he told us. You can keep an eye out for them on the Tim Newton Photography Facebook page.
For now, this nature lover will continue taking pictures of the wildlife he encounters – as well as his own beautiful Collie!
If you can’t get enough of Newton’s Lynx photos, you can purchase these prints and more on his website: http://ruggedalaska.com/.
Special thanks to Tim Newton for letting us share his beautiful pictures and story!