Man Paralyzed In Fear When He Steps Out His Front Door, He Wasn’t Expecting These Guests

Strange Sounds

Facebook/Tim Newton Photography

He froze as he heard the sounds coming from outside. He lingered in bed, wondering whether to go investigate. Living so close to the wilderness as he does, the risk of an unwanted encounter is higher than most people would be comfortable with. He steeled himself as he made his way toward the sound, trying not to make his presence known. Then he saw it: the source of the disturbance. And it was nothing he could have ever prepared for.

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Lover Of The Wild

Rugged Alaska

But Tim Newton was no stranger to wild encounters. In fact, he’s been around wildlife his whole life. Having been born and raised in Alaska, he’s had to learn how to coexist and interact with animals that could pose a serious risk to his safety. But he wouldn’t change it for the world, and it’s part of the reason he decided to become a photographer. That said, nature is always unpredictable -- as he was recently reminded.

A Life In Alaska

Facebook/Tim Newton Photography

Through his photography, Tim has been all over the world. But his heart has always belonged to his home state. “I am a lifelong Alaskan, forever in love with Alaska and its unique natural beauty,” he says. That’s why, in 1989, he and his wife Cathy moved to the outskirts of Anchorage, on the edge of Chugach State Park. So it’s safe to assume these past three decades have been quite an adventure, to say the least.

A Perfect Match

Rugged Alaska

Even though Cathy is not from Alaska, she was also raised with a love of animals and nature. So the move to Alaska was a natural fit for her as well as Tim. “Raising three children here, the wilderness and beauty of Alaska has been a great source of joy, serenity, and wonder!” says Tim. But despite all of its wonders, it’s impossible to deny that living in such a place also comes with certain risks.

A Looming Threat

Paxson Woelber

Chugach State Park is home to scores of wildlife, including moose, voles, mountain goats, and of course -- bears. Brown, black, and grizzly bears can all be found living in different parts of the park. Though attacks on humans are rare, they do happen, the most recent one being in 2017 when a black bear attacked a teenager participating in a trail race at Bird Ridge. Needless to say, such encounters are always at the back of Tim’s mind.

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At The Crack Of Dawn

Pinterest/Tom Dudones

One autumn morning, Tim woke up to the sounds of footsteps on his back deck. It was nearly dawn, and the sky was slowly turning from dark to light. He knew it wasn’t a human intruder - his home was too isolated for any person to stumble by. But as to which wild creature was visiting his abode this time, he had a guess. And it was not an animal anyone would want to encounter unprepared.

It Could Be Bears

Facebook/Tim Newton Photography

"I’ve been woken up by bears on the deck, so I thought I would check," said Tim. His doors and windows were locked and reinforced enough so that no creature could force its way in. But bears are strong, stubborn animals, so Tim figured it was best to investigate. He put on his bathrobe and quietly made his way toward the back of the house. He had no idea what he was about to find.

A Cat?

Tim Newton Photography

“I pulled open the curtain just a bit to see, because I didn’t want them to run off, and I looked down and saw what struck me as a cat,” recalls Tim. Perhaps it’s a neighbor’s cat, he thought. Though not very close by, he did have neighbors. It would not be strange for one of them to have a roaming cat - even though pets face great risks in the Alaskan wilderness. Tim decided to let it inside to keep it safe. But all wasn’t as it seemed.

That Was No Cat

Tim Newton Photography

Tim slowly opened the back door and put one foot on the deck before he stopped dead in his tracks. He took a closer look at the creature in front of him and realized it wasn’t a cat after all. “I took a second look and realized it wasn’t a full-grown cat but a baby lynx. They’re about the same size at this age," he said. Tim froze for a second, then closed the door and ran back inside.

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Kitty Playtime

Tim Newton Photography

Tim ran to get his camera and when he came back, he realized the baby lynx wasn’t alone. Its siblings were also there, and it looked like it was playtime. “They’re running back and forth across the deck, chasing each other, hiding, jumping. They've turned the deck into a romper room, having a heck of a time,” Tim said. And he did not waste this golden opportunity.

A Curious Baby Lynx

Tim Newton Photography

Tim took photos of the lynx kittens from every angle and every window that faced his back deck. Lynx rarely allow themselves to be spotted by humans, so he knew this was a once-in-a-lifetime moment. At one point, one of the kittens spotted him and walked toward him, curious. "He came over to check out the 'big-clicking-tree-thing,'" he said. But the close encounter didn’t last long.

Spooked

Tim Newton Photography

"He got closer and I got a couple of shots, so I moved my face from behind the camera, but as soon as he saw my eyes -- the look of horror -- his eyes got wide and he took off,” recalled Tim. Then he saw something that gave him pause: there was movement in the tall grass. “I saw through the screen door that the grass was moving. It was like Jurassic Park with the velociraptors," he laughed. Then something even more amazing happened.

Mama Lynx

Tim Newton Photography

“I heard the mother calling to the kittens,” said Tim. The kittens began to scamper away at their mother’s call, but then she decided to join them on the deck. The whole experience lasted about 40 minutes, during which Tim was able to photograph all seven baby lynx and their mother. After that, they were gone -- but not for good.

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Back For More

YouTube/RuggedAlaska

A couple of months after their visit - once winter was in full swing - the family of lynx made its way back to the Newtons’ deck. This time, it was Cathy who heard them, though she didn’t realize what it was at first. "I thought it might be an owl who had taken up residence on our roof. The next morning, I heard the noise again. It sounded like a woodpecker," she said. So she went to investigate and saw the familiar faces.

Regular Visitors

Tim Newton Photography

"They were so busy, and running everywhere," recalls Cathy. "Out to the lawn, back on the deck.” She took out her phone and began to film. The video shows five kittens and their mother playing on the deck and yard. Since then, the feline family has visited the Newtons a few more times, and the couple has no complaints. "There are no words possible for how beautiful they are," Cathy said.

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