Above the megalopolis, beautiful animals roam.

Where wilderness meets city lights, we’re all creatures in our cosmic home. 

What’s so “civil” about civilization anyway,

When clever critters have lived for generations high above the fray?

  

 

I’m the Lion in Your Life

Ode to the Liberty Canyon Wildlife Crossing

©Jason Klassi

I walk the night on mountain ridge high above the sea.
I sense your smells, sounds and souls from below in sparkling cities.
When the sun comes up and alarms do ring, you begin your daily spree.
I disappear in the darkest canyon, deep where no one sees.

Now I may live in a hidden world, but do not misconstrue.
Along your trails you won’t see me, but I’m quietly watching you.
I don’t want to scare or hurt, but you control my fate.
Please you tall Two-Legged Ones, open your eyes before it’s too late.

To survive we need to spread our seed from valley to windy ridge.
Every lion has the right to live, love and die
and cross over liberty canyon bridge.

I’m the lion in your life.
I’m your wildness to explore.
I’m each breath you take while making love.
I’m the heartbeat of your soul.

Sometimes you crush my flesh and bones on freeways that surround.
Sometimes you capture and collar me and hunt me down.
Well, I may be the roar-less lion but I will never be tamed.
Please don’t fall prey to your own demise playing your own selfish game.

Pesticides are genocide and trophy skins are the end of my kind.
Let’s find a way to co-exist in harmony for all time.
Now we don’t have to interact but we each need room to roam.
Set aside your fears and let’s share this place that we can both call home.

To survive we need to spread our seed from valley to windy ridge.
Every lion has the right to live, love and die
and cross over liberty canyon bridge.

I’m the lion in your life.
I’m your wildness to explore.
I’m each breath you take while making love.
I’m the heartbeat of your soul.

 

“I’m the Lion in Your Life” is a poem written by Jason Klassi and inspired by the pumas he photographs in the Santa Monica Mountains.  Photograph and poem ©Jasonklassi     

Here is a trail cam ‘homage to P27’, one of the coolest cats in the Santa Monica Mountains.   P27 was the first mountain lion I ever trail-cammed.   When I saw the 3 second, grainy, black and white video standing on the very rocks he crossed, i began flehming like a cougar. 

Click the link below to see the video.

Homage to P27, a collection of trail cam videos

Homage to P27, the Lion King of the Santa Monica Mountains. © Jason Klassi
Homage to P27, the Lion King of the Santa Monica Mountains. © Jason Klassi

 

 

 

Whiskers the mountain lion camera-trapped by Jason Klassi

This young cougar appeared on my trail cam ‘like a comet in the night sky’ on Thanksgiving.  Hopefully “Comet”, a neighbor of #P45, will also survive and thrive in the mountains above Los Angeles. #mountainlionfoundation #savelacougars

Camera trap images by Jason Klassi, © 2016.

puma-crouching-sideview
This stealthy juvenile puma crouches in the darkness high above Santa Monica. © 2016 Jason Klassi
puma-eyes-forward
Comet the cougar puts its best paw forward in front of my DSLR camera. © 2016 Jason Klassi
The charismatic cougar P27 stops by my camera spot.

 

Click on this link to view the video. The charismatic cougar at my new camera spot

 

This charismatic cougar relaxes at my new camera spot.    The animal seems to be healthy, aside from the annoying GPS collar. This cougar apparently has learned to survive with millions of human neighbors in Los Angeles.  (I think it’s P19).  Let’s give it space to roam with the proposed #LibertyCanyon wildlife crossing.

     I recently captured this trail cam footage of a majestic yet mangy-looking mountain lion above a Los Angeles bay. I’m not sure but it appears to be suffering from mange caused by rodenticides that you may be using to keep the rats out of your garbage, garage and backyard.  Enjoy your backyard but choose your pest-control products wisely so that Nature’s exterminators, like mountain lions, can live to maintain the balance in all of our backyards on  our common home Planet Earth.  

Meet this mountain lion at   – youtube channel……

Mountain Lion - P27 daytime Imovie

For more information go to http://www.mountainlion.org/actionalerts/043014CAab2657/043014CAab2657.asp  

Mountain Lions and the Web of Life 

California Assembly Bill 2657 prohibits the use of rodenticides or products containing certain second-generation anticoagulants in environmentally sensitive areas such as state parks. These harsh chemicals, intended to curb the rodent population, are working their way up the food chain and killing hundreds of wild animals — including wildlife like owls, coyotes, bobcats and mountain lions that can control the rodent population naturally. The bill was signed into law by Governor Brown on September 19, 2015. Though the bill was amended to exempt agricultural activities and federal entities, this legislation is still a much-needed step towards removing poisonous chemicals from our environment. Please choose wildlife-friendly products so that the natural balance of our home planet, and you an your family, can survive and thrive.

I’ve always loved exploring my local Santa Monica MountainMountain Lion Above Santa Monica Bay Stills, from the tall redwood trees tucked away in the canyons above Sunset Boulevard to the chaparral of the 3000 foot high arid ridges above the Pacific Ocean. 

More and more I’ve come to appreciate the amazing wild creatures that live there even though I have only encountered a few of them in person on very
special occasions.  

A few years ago, I had a rare and calm face-to-face encounter with a mountain lion while on a hike in the foothills above the ocean. We stared at each other for about a minute less than 20 feet apart. As I slowly reached for my cell phone to take a picture he casually sauntered off uninterested with my human desire to capture the moment. Many people were skeptical of my story dismissing it as a bobcat, coyote or an outright fabrication. But I knew what I saw and I was captivated by it.

About six months ago I started noticing incredible mountain lion trail cam videos posted on Facebook by masters like Johanna Turner, Denis Callet, Robert Martinez, David Neils and of course Steve Winter. Their footage inspired me to buy my first trail cam and try to capture on film what I now knew roamed my local hiking trails. 

In the height of this past summer’s drought, I placed my first trail cam by one of the remaining animal watering holes near the spot where I had my initial encounter with a lion a few years ago. Within a few weeks I had a nice bobcat image and a close-up of the two front legs of a mountain lion. A month later I was teased with a 3 second video clip of a mountain lion’s collared neck, torso and tail but no face. Jeff Sikich of the National Park Service confirmed that these were probably two different lions — P27 and another unknown lion. 

With renewed determination, I placed my trail cam further back in this same setting hoping to get the entire mysterious creature on camera if it passed this way again. I waited, checked images and replaced batteries for 4 more months. 

Finally on New Year’s Eve, I went to check my camera and there it was — the entire beautiful mountain lion known as P27 standing in profile, sniffing the air and gracefully leaping by the camera to continue his solitary travels. Needless to say, I was elated. My mouth dropped open, my eyes widened and I raised my hands to the sky in appreciation of Mother Nature’s gift to us all. These magnificent elusive creatures are there but you hardly ever see one.

Jason Klassi camera trapping above Santa Monica, California
Jason Klassi camera trapping in the Santa Monica Mountains above Santa Monica, California for Expedition Earth, Inc.