While paddling on Harper Lake, I spotted some movement at the remote west end of the lake. As I approached closer I could see two cubs in the open as well as the longer/larger mother partially hidden in the forest. Cougar cubs stay up to 2 years with their mother before they are driven off to fend for themselves. These two were already over a year old so they will be on their own in the spring.
Cougars are naturally secretive and stay well hidden, but the cubs were curious about the 18 foot green kayak out in the lake. I stayed as still as I could so they sat and watched me for a while.
The mother cougar kept an eye on me, though. Mostly she stayed hidden, but I was able to drift to a clearer view. Cougars are polygamous, with males mating with several females. The females are fertile by 2 to 3 years of age and can mate at any time of the year. Babies gestate for up to 96 days then the mother will look for a den to have her young. One to four babies are born in a litter. Their eyes are closed at birth, but are open withing 2 weeks. The kittens are nursed for 5 – 6 weeks then start to eat meat.
When I drifted too close to the shoreline, the young cougars retreated to the cover of the bush, but still remained curious.
The mother cougar decided that was enough and led her young along the south shoreline in search of prey. They range in an area of 5 to 25 square miles so there were probably many miles to go before the ed-of-the-day sleep.
We launched our kayaks in Comox Lake with the intention of paddling down the lake far enough to see the end of the glacier-fed lake, but strong winds came up so we ended up paddling a loop around the east … Continue reading →
On the west side of Stake Lake is an osprey nest at the top of a broken-top fir tree. Eggs were laid by the mating pair and then were incubated for about 40 days. The chicks hatched then nested for … Continue reading →
Heffley Lake is one of our finest lakes to paddle and it can be a busy spot in summer so we usually paddle there in spring or fall. There is a good boat lunch on the east end suitable to … Continue reading →
For fishermen or paddlers, Jacko Lake is one of the first lakes to be ice-free in spring and one of the last lakes to freeze over in late fall. It is surrounded by grasslands at 917m elevation (3000 feet). A … Continue reading →