Getting A Wild Hare
Here is what happens when the mountain lion you are observing drinking from a nearby muddy stream suddenly sees a rabbit nearby. In less than a second this relaxed cougar went from getting a drink and curiously investigating the water's edge with muddy paws, to full sprint without a bit of warning. Luckily for the rabbit, he escaped by a "hare" to live another day. If I were not already focused with my camera readied on the cougar drinking, I would have never had a chance to capture this very sudden and short moment. If you look very closely you will see mud droplets flying through the air around the animal -- A result of the Cougar starting its chase from the other side of the stream and splashing through it in pursuit of its prey.
Photographed somewhere on the very large acreage of 3-Bar Ranch (a.k.a. Bisset Ranch), 20 miles South of Mariposa, CA.