Quixotic Coyote

January 11, 2009  •  Leave a Comment


_31I7646
*A quick refresher:* I was seeking a new wildlife challenge, and the coyotes at the park a couple of miles from my house seemed like good candidates. Unfortunately, they turned out to be a little too good. They're smart (wily, if you'd prefer), well camouflaged, and highly adaptable. I haven't noticed any large crates from _ACME_, but so far, they haven't needed any.

I haven't posted many pictures from this challenge lately because there haven't _been_ any pictures. The coyotes have adapted too well to my efforts. I figure out their routes & routines around the marsh, and they leave the marsh for the open fields. I track them to the open fields, and they're on the ice on the lake. I hide in the reeds at the shore of the lake waiting for them on the ice, and they're goodness knows where. I don't. I'm ethically opposed to feeding wildlife (and agree that a fed wild animal is a dead wild animal), and it's illegal. I'm almost to the point of considering a predator call.

Yesterday I caught a coyote on the frozen lake, but it was too dark to get a decent shot, and I never saw the coyote again that morning. I _did_ run into a coyote again yesterday afternoon while walking the dog along a game trail in the remote back part of the park - the dog and I were heading north and the coyote was heading south on parallel trails only about 7-8 meters apart. We all stopped for a brief moment and looked at the other, then the coyote trotted on his way. The dog and I waited a few minutes and then tracked the coyote at a discreet distance for about 20 minutes. Of course, having a camera with me would have made things far too easy . . .

This morning I was out well before sunrise, again hiding in the reeds waiting for the coyote to go out on the frozen lake. He was a no-show. the sun was just up, so i decided to try the open field. I spotted him briefly and tracked him to the wildlife area. I kept spotting him and positioned myself where I anticipated he'd emerge from the brush without success. I was about to call it a morning but decided instead of heading back to the closest exit I'd take one last loop around the lake. Just as I was in an open spot the coyote made a dash across the frozen pond. Fortunately I still had the camera/tripod set up and was able to quickly fire off several frames before he disappeared into the reeds.

Coyote (Canis latrans)
Crown Hill Park
Lakewood, CO
Sony Alpha700
Sigma 300 f/2.8+1.4TC
Giottos tripod, Acratech ballhead, Wimberley Sidekick

ISO400, 1.640sec, f/2.8

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