I had always dreamed of seeing and photographing a wild cougar. When I lived in California, there was a small 750 acre city park tucked into the foothills of San Jose. The park is not even 10 miles from downtown San Jose, yet there is a myriad of wildlife there, including mountain lion. I used to go every chance I got, always taking my camera. I would walk the trails, find a secluded area and sit and wait for whatever would come by. I saw many things: deer, jays, deer, hawks, deer, bobcat, deer, weasel, deer, too many different birds to list and did I mention deer. I had been to that parks 100's of times, and EVERYTIME I would see deer. There wasn't one time that I hadn't. I didn't see mountain lions, but I did see signs. One time I found a half eaten deer carcass with its neck broken. Was looking around for mountain lion but didn't see one and I really got the the willies sitting there by the deer, so I quickly left. One day my friend called and asked if she could go with me to Alum Rock Park. I said sure but was thinking there is no way I will see a mountain lion today. We hiked up the hills and saw many things except we saw no deer which was very odd. I joked to my friend that there must be a mountain lion nearby. As we made our way down the hill on the switchback trail, I saw a slight movement out of the corner of my eye. I looked and staring straight at us was a mountain lion that wasn't but 25 ft from us! I gasped and immediately grabbed my camera from around my neck and started taking pictures( Nikon 4004 w/ cheap 70-300mm lens). So many things were racing through my mind as I looked at the lion through my lens. First thought was "holy &^%" there is a mountain lion 25 ft away from me. Second thought was hurry take a picture before it runs away. Next thought was don't be afraid, they can sense fear. Third thought was "yeah right!, how do I not be afraid." Next thought was what a gorgeous animal. And finally I was thinking if I looked away for even a brief second I would have trouble finding it again, it was as if it was a ghost and I was looking straight through it. All these thoughts went through my head as I snapped two pictures. Then he moved toward us. He wasn't slinking or cautiously walking toward us, he was walking calmly and casually towards us. As a pet cat might walk up to its owner to rub on his or her leg. At this time my friend and I employed all the tactics that the cougar experts say to do when encountered by a mountain lion; yelling, waving arms, making ourselves look bigger. To no avail. They had absolutely NO EFFECT on the lion. He just kept coming. He got to within 12 ft, maybe closer, before I did what I told everyone I would do if confronted by a lion out there. I growled and snarled. (Now I have a very convincing snarl, something I learned to do when I was young. I have scared people, dobermans, and once even a burglar with my growl). As soon as started to growl the lion immediately stopped and I saw his focus shift from my friend to me. Now I wasn't too worried about the shift in focus, because the main thing was that he was no longer moving closer! I tried to be louder and more convincing with my growl and I made a mock lunge at it. The lion took one huge leap, 30 ft or more, and disappeared into some thick brush. And all went quiet. My friend and I were not out of the woods yet, though. The lion had landed in some brush that was between the two switchback trails, whichever way we went it would take us by the bush. We were terrified. We gathered some weapons, never letting our eyes wander from that bush. After what seemed like forever, we decided to make our way down the trail. Now this would put the lion in good position above us, but the way out was down. Civilization was down the hill. As soon as we started down, out of nowhere, came a man on horseback. We ran over to him and told him what happened. When it was obvious he thought we were just a bunch of hysterical women, I pointed into the bush where we thought the lion still was and it jumped out and bounded up the side of the mountain. It was finally over. I had taken two pictures, the first was done under duress, I thought the lion was gonna take off, so I wanted to at least get one shot. It did not come out. I was a camera dummy then, and just used my auto mode. It was under thick canopy, so the shutter speed was very slow. Luckily, for the second shot I took a little more time and thought about the canopy and instinctively flipped up my in-camera flash. Still not a great shot and I didn't frame him well in the photo, but it is a picture of a wild mountain lion. Jessie Oh also I would like to know the best way to get my negative put in digital format. I have done this before but lost the CD. I had it done again and the guy did a lousy job, as you can see from the second picture. Actually was never happy with either version.