Sometimes the best laid plans of mice and nature photographers go awry.
This is one of those times.
My new challenge is a pair of coyotes at my local park. It's where I usually walk my dog (or where _he_ walks me, depending upon your perspective). I figured these coyotes would provide enough challenge to occupy me for a bit, and maybe force me to improve my game a little in the process.
I underestimated them.
I've managed to sight them regularly now. I know their morning and evening routes & routines. i can find them most of the time with a little effort. I've managed to gradually get closer to them, and to hide well enough for them to unwittingly get closer to me. I count each minor improvement I make as a major victory, since I am dealing with an alpha predator who is smart and wary. I figured it wouldn't be long before I had some nice pics (close range, good light, low ISO) at this rate.
What I didn't figure on was the coyotes stepping up their game in response to me.
Since I had a little time off for the holidays, I decided to spend my morning pursuing the coyotes.I could always manage to spot at least one of the coyotes out in the middle of the frozen pond before sunrise - just too far away and behind too much brush for a decent shot. I think that's part of her plan. No matter which way I approach a hiding place for the pond, the coyote is now on the lookout for me, and on the frozen pond has a 360-degree escape route. When I arrive, she now watches me and exits the opposite side of the pond. They've adapted too well in a short period of time.
This shot is after packing up from the wildlife area. She was in the open field chasing voles. She spotted me very quickly, and after looking away from the viewfinder for a split second, she managed to just disappear. This was the best shot of the day.