Early one morning, Tim Newton was woken up by a ruckus on his porch in Alaska. At first, he suspected there might be an intruder. Upon peering out the window, however, he as confronted by a curious site.

“It was right near dawn. I heard some noises; it was like something scrambling on the deck,” Newton told The Dodo. “Coming out of my slumber, I thought, ‘What the heck is that?’ So I put on my bathrobe and slowly eased back the curtain. And right there, 2 feet away, was a lynx kitten. He was sitting there watching his siblings race by.”

Credit: Tim Newton

That wasn’t the only lynx kitten, however. Pretty soon, three more scrambled across Newton’s deck. Without a second thought, the wildlife lover grabbed his camera. Said Newton,

“They were running back and forth, pouncing on each other. I started snapping away. I thought, ‘Wow! What incredible luck. This just beats all. This is just wonderful!’”

Photos of the encounter have gone viral, as the lynx are notoriously elusive. Newton himself has only spotted them in the wild a handful of times. “They were so cute. It was cute-tastic,” Newton said. “It was amazing.”

Credit: Tim Newton

Credit: Tim Newton

After a few minutes, the original lynx jumped off Newton’s deck. At this point, he figured the show was over. But it got better. Much, much better…

Credit: Tim Newton

All of a sudden, Newton heard the lynx’s mother mewing from the grass. Then suddenly, all seven of the lynx kittens filed back onto his deck — the mother following suit. 

“I’ve never seen so many lynx,” said Newton. “To see all these lynx on my deck, I was gobsmacked.”

Credit: Tim Newton

Credit: Tim Newton

The family stayed long enough for the photographer to take dozens of photos. “They started to play again. For the next 40 minutes, they all played on my deck. They were chasing each other, rolling and wrestling,” said Newton.

During one instance, a lynx kitten jumped at Newton out of fear. Fortunately, the rest of the litter didn’t notice.

Credit: Tim Newton

“I don’t know why I did this — maybe to say to him, ‘Oh, what a cute little kitty!’ — but I pulled the camera away from my face little, and my eyes showed,” Newton said. “The look of terror on that kitten’s face! His eyes were wide open, and he just flew away from me! But the others didn’t pick up on it.”

Credit: Tim Newton

After playtime was decidedly over, the mother rounded up her cubs and marched them back to the forest. The Dodo reports that Newton felt delighted and giddy from the experience, and considers the encounter a sort of “miracle.” He said,

“We’re always thrilled to encounter wildlife. It makes me feel thankful — thankful for where I live. I’m thankful to have seen these lynx up close.”

Credit: Tim Newton

Credit: Tim Newton

Credit: Tim Newton

Credit: Tim Newton

Credit: Tim Newton

Credit: Tim Newton

Credit: Tim Newton

h/t The Dodo