Silverton photographer Wesley Berg was out on a mission to capture photos of moose this week when he came across a smaller and more elusive creature: A lynx.
On Tuesday, the retired research scientist and professional wildlife photographer was skiing up a mountain near his hometown, camera in tow, when he spotted the lynx about 100 yards away laying in the snow.
Berg slowly approached the animal from the opposite side of a creek until he was about 100 feet away – close enough to capture photos and video with an 800-millimeter lens, offering outdoor enthusiasts a rare up-close look at one of the state’s most mystifying big cats.
“I took some photos and sat down and hung out for well over an hour. And it was just laying there, nodding off,” Berg told The Denver Post. “Then the sun came up and hit it and at some point, I think it got hot, because it got up, stretched, looked around, and got back into the shade and laid down. A little while later, it got up and wandered off.”
This isn’t the first time Berg has encountered a lynx. The last time, in 2016, he and his wife were backcountry skiing when he stopped to take a break and saw a mother lynx with an adolescent lynx following his tracks up the mountain. He snapped some images that are now among his best sellers.
This week, Berg was on a mission to find two twin moose he’s endearingly calls Lisa and Bart after the kids on “The Simpsons.” Berg has been keeping tabs on them all winter as he prepares to release a new book, entitled “Silverton Moose Stories.”
The book was originally inspired by two orphaned moose that hung out in Silverton in 2021, often living temporarily in locals’ yards. Townspeople called them Linus and Lucy after the characters in “Peanuts.”
“Silverton Moose Stories” is expected to be published by the end of May, Berg said.