While reporting a story a few years back about the plight of the mountain lions in the Santa Monica mountains, a wildlife expert told me that wherever you see a mule deer, mountain lions aren't too far behind. Their favorite food, mule deer. Bar none. I think of that every time I see a deer, wonder how close by one of those amazing cougars might be.
I also think about the other thing one of the wildlife experts told me: Most people in Los Angeles have never seen a mountain lion, but the mountain lions have seen them.
Meanwhile, I love the the big ears on these little deer, who I came across while driving high in the hills at sunset yesterday. Stopped the car and o h s o v e r y s l o w l y moved toward them with the camera. Didn't want to spook them. They tolerated me.
I love the ocean backdrop here, love the deepening dusk, the way the deer is scratching his nose with his rear hoof.
Somewhere, a mountain lion loves them, too.