A strange noise from his deck woke Tim Newton early one morning a couple of weeks ago.
“We live on the edge of, basically, wilderness,” said Newton, who lives on the outskirts of Anchorage, Alaska. “So we get wildlife coming through all the time. It’s not the first time I’ve been woken up by wildlife on the deck.”
Bears, however, are normally a lot noisier, so Newton couldn’t quite identify his visitors by ear. He crept over to a window and raised the shade.
“Two feet away from me was this lynx kitten,” he said. Lynx are rare in Anchorage, however – Newton had only encountered them a few times previously in his amateur landscape photography career and never long enough to snap more than a blurry shot of a fleeing shape. So at first he mistook the lynx for a stray housecat.
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He started to shoo the cat off his porch when he realized it was actually a lynx. Canada lynx are normally found in tundra and forest regions in Canada and Alaska. They are a threatened species in the contiguous 48 states of the U.S.
Newton grabbed his landscape camera and began taking photos as the kitten and two others began to play on his deck, racing and chasing each other. After just a few minutes, the kittens wandered off.
“I figured, I’ll probably never see any more of them,” Newton said. But at least he’d have some great shots for his Facebook page.
Hoping to spot the kittens heading back into the woods, Newton opened his door – and spotted the mother lynx through his screen door. She called out and seven kittens, plus their mother, trooped back onto Newton’s deck for some more play.
“They just kept coming,” Newton said. “They were using my deck for a playground.”
He kept shooting photos. The clicking noise from his camera attracted the attention of some of the kittens, who came closer to investigate. About 40 minutes and more than 200 photos later, the lynx family headed back into the wild.
“I just felt incredibly lucky,” Newton said. Some of his lynx photos are available for purchase on Fine Art America.