The Star-Nosed Mole and How I Once Fought a Cougar!

This thing looks like something out of a Lovecraft story, but instead it is the Star-nosed mole, which resides in Pennsylvania.  Seriously, if I ever see one of these things, I will run screaming.  Oh, wait, they are actually small, like 5-8 inches long?  That is a relief.

Wait a second!  Why haven’t I seen one before?  I used to spend time in the woods, lots of time actually.  Especially when I would be fly-fishing along many of the streams of this great state.  I cannot believe that I never saw one.  Or at least had my dad find one and say “hey, come check this out.”

Hell look at these things that I have spotted before while fishing during my youth.  Hellgrammites, mudpuppies, and even a mountain lion.

Hey, at least the mountain lion cub is cute, right?  Oh, you are probably wondering about the mountain lion.  I suppose I could tell that story.

So many years ago, probably some time back in 1986, we went to Kettle Creek, a place where my family had a camp.  We (I believe it was me, my dad, mom, my dad’s first cousin, which would make him my first cousin once removed, and his wife) decided to visit there one summer day.  As we drove along the dirt road, we saw a very large cat jump out of the brush and stop in the middle of the road.  It then bounded up into the mountains.

I know what you are thinking, it was probably a bobcat.  I have seen plenty of them in that region and my family can easily identify one.  This was much larger and had a very long tail.  My dad and his cousin jumped out and took a picture and also chased it with a log.  They took the photograph to a game warden who said that it was probably taken out west somewhere.

We never saw another one again, but we all know what we saw that day.  I wonder if the PA Game Commission had one in captivity and it accidentally escaped.  They probably were able to get it back, or it lived out it’s life and then died.  I do not believe that there are big cats living in the hills of Kettle Creek or anything like that.  I am not a nutjob!

Okay, so this post started out with ugly moles and ends with me being crazy.  Fantastic.