Up late last night so today’s trek got off to a late start. I was quite surprised to see this healthy looking coyote doing his part in the heat of the mid morning sun to keep the prairie dog population under control. I wasn’t very close but my big 400mm Canon brought him in well enough to get a decent image. I wanted to take the time to attach my 1.4x but he was on the move so I figured I had better get while the getting was good! Sure enough, it wasn’t long before I was noticed and the little prairie wolf was putting distance between us in a hurry!
Picture perfect morning in the mountains, the formerly frozen peaks of the Pike National Forest now basking in the warm glow of early morning spring sunshine. There was sign of wildlife everywhere but no sighting on the top of the ridge. No matter, I was just enjoying the solitude, the quiet and the beautiful scenery of the Rocky Mountain wilderness.
Too soon I was making my way down the mountain past the rocky gorge in full view of the majestic Sangre de Cristo range when the silence was broken. The urgent howl of an upset coyote echoed through the valley filling my ears with the pleasant sound of pure wildness. I could tell from the direction and the volume that the noisy prairie wolf was relatively close by. Canis latrans, literally barking dog… living up to it’s name down in the valley. I assumed it was probably a female with pups given the frantic nature of her warning.
She was too far away for a good picture, but I wanted a record of the scene anyway so I stopped for a few quick captures. Perhaps I will return with a tripod and my 1.4x extender for a little closer view, in the meantime I hope this distant image will give my readers an idea of this treasured experience in the Colorado wilderness!