The Lynx Fight

The first three words I blurted out were swear words.  Which is fine if one is not in the middle of chatting on a walkie-talkie radio with paying clients on a photography tour.  But I was....

And not only did I swear on the radio in front of paying clients, but I did so with a tremendous amount of gusto and volume.  It was high-pitched, it was even feverish.

Thankfully, none of my clients remember a thing about me reciting several of the most commonly used words in the English language into the radio.  I guess that's what happens when you're driving along and suddenly come upon a couple of lynx on the side of the road.

You know...just a couple of lynx. Nothing major, right?

And now let me provide a little insight into what goes on a professional wildlife photographer's mind when a couple of lynx are encountered on the side of the road:

What the wow get your window down no open the door no stop the car park pull over sh%t no time please please stay there grab camera open door no window down no door theyre crossing the road mother of pearl change aperture focus oh my gosh theyre gonna fight get both in should i change lenses no do it no concentrate stop shaking get both in wow theyre gonna fight get both in get both in GET BOTH IN!!!!

So that was what happened in the first half second or so.  Haha!  Note that I did not think even once of what exactly my clients were doing or if they were even getting shots (ulp, forgive me John, Kim, and Don!).

In all, the photo experience was probably two minutes worth of lynx, though it seemed like an hour in comparison to the rest of my lynx encounters over the years.  This time I actually had time to think (sort of) and managed to get my breathing and shaking under control (though it took me most of the two minutes to do so!).

I'll never be sure, but I think the two big males were squaring off in what was either a fight over a lady or a territorial dispute.  For much of the encounter it looked like they would fight right there in front of us, but instead they wandered back into the bush where we could hear them screaming and howling at each other (at one point we attempted to follow them in, but the snow was too deep). I don't know if they actually fought, but it sure sounded like they did!

The first male hustles across the road right between our cars, I shot this with a 500mm hand-held out of my car door
As the first male walked up onto the snowbank opposite us, it became obvious that he was pretty ticked at the other male!

At this point he was visibly upset and was hissing loudly as the other male approached him

Still shooting with my 500mm, the first male changed his body position and continued to stare down the male below him

Getting very aggressive now, feet splayed out, scowling and hissing!

Face-to-face hissing away at each other!

Taking a swipe with his front right paw

Head-to-head making a bunch of angry noise!

Walking away into the trees, two minutes after we first spotted them

Thanks for looking everyone, let me know which ones are your faves in the 'Comments' below.  Happy shooting!


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