Joan Dorsey
Contributing columnist
Thank goodness for social media.
I mean really, you can learn so much.
I used to get a lot of hot celebrity gossip standing in the line at the grocery store. The weekly gossip magazines were always full of information. I of course read them in line and discreetly placed them back on the rack when my turn to check out came up. One cannot do without a big foot sighting or another conspiracy theory dealing with a Hollywood overdose.
So back to social media.
A lot of the misinformation I have now is supplied by social media. The dreaded FB is full of comments and quips.
I follow our local police department on social media. If something happens and I need them, I want them to show up. They work 365 days a year, and it is a job I couldn’t do.
Apparently, from what I have read, people have seen what they believe to be a cougar-mountain lion locally.
Having been a life long resident of the area, this is not a new story. Local ranchers and farm folks have seen cougars for years and years. Probably the same cat family that has lived around here forever.
The big cats have a range of 500 miles so it is possible. There is plenty of deer and game to be had in our area. However I guess several reports of the cat at a local large city park prompted our police to install a trail cam.
Trail cams are one of the neatest inventions in my mind. They can run off a battery system and be set to take photos when the sensor detects movement. You just never know what is going to show up in those photos till you pull the SD card and review them.
I know for sure we have foxes in our town. They have lived here peacefully for years. Leave them alone and they will go about their own business.
We also have coyotes. We have built our homes and businesses on their hunting areas. I hear them out my windows in the Fall and Spring. Once again leave them alone. Skunks, raccoons and opossums also live in the city limits as do squirrels.
The trail cams installed at the local park however, caught a much different variety of nocturnal animals. We were treated on FB to pictures of what appear to be adult humans dressed in animal costumes. A lovely woman dressed in a cat costume, a Santa type figure, a couple of possible zombies and last but not least an older woman using a walker.
With the exception of the lady with the walker, the other photos were quite enjoyable. I don’t know if the folks knew they were being photographed or perhaps they come by the park quite often for late night rendezvous.
Possibly cat lady and the zombies have midnight picnics by the lake? Who are we to judge?
What troubled me though, are people out looking for this big cat. Wildlife is best left alone. Any animal that can take down a deer needs to be respected. Let the trail cam do its job. This large cat has called this area home for longer than most of the residents of Gardner.
Leave it be.
Be safe, carry your phone or a whistle, and be mindful of your surroundings.