My neighbor thinks a mountain lion was on the roof of his garage. Who am I to dispute this? Yes we live in the middle of town and yes he has three large dogs. Facts like these tend to make a person skeptical. Not to mention the fact that he usually has a glass or mug in his hand and I have no idea what is in it. In the plausible column you’ve got to note, his dogs stay inside at night and for crying out loud, the cops shot and killed a mountain lion in some one’s backyard in Des Moines not that long ago.

He thinks this because the morning after his dogs went nuts and barked up a storm one evening, he saw giant cat like prints on his garage roof. His theory is, the lion jumped up on their deck to clean up the leftover dog food and made the short hop to the garage roof during his exit.

This disclosure has lead to much lion conversation between my wife and I. She is fascinated and terrified by large carnivores. She has a love/hate thing going on with bears which comes up on a regular basis since we spend time every year hiking, camping and backpacking in the west. I’m afraid the same thing is starting with the elusive, Iowa Mountain Lion.

So now, we’re on the lookout for a lion and have been talking about our risky behaviors like walking the dog and jogging.

IMG_0835This was on my mind on my bike ride today. Doesn’t this look like prime lion habitat to you? I scanned the trees, ditches and snags of downed timber but came up short. Squirrels, cows, horses, wild turkeys and one dead skunk   made the list today. No lion.

Bike: Fargo with full fenders
Temp: high 20’s, roads were either snow and ice covered or soft gravel
Mileage: 35