It was about 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 23, when Ron Johnson of the Alpine Hills neighborhood, in his hand a single-lens reflex camera with zoom lens, caught an image of a bobcat alongside his house.
That it's a bobcat was a guess on Mr. Johnson's part, having looked up images on the web and seen the short tail. A search shows cats of many color combinations, but a short tail and a penetrating gaze are common.
Had he been standing next to it, the cat would have come up to his knee, Mr. Johnson said. As the time of the photo, the animal was about 15 feet away and casually departing the scene, he said.
This was not his first encounter with a bobcat. Mr. Johnson's home is not far from an open space area owned by Stanford University.
In an encounter from several years ago, he said, he saw a bobcat with a rabbit in its mouth. While he was watching it, Mr. Johnson said, the cat spied another rabbit, dropped the one it had and went after the second rabbit, caught it and came back to retrieve the first one.
"That was quite a sight," he said.