Thursday, February 23, 2012

My First Wild Wolf Photos

I got my first wild wolf photos last week. It happened the day after Valentine's so my husband tried to convince me that he'd arranged it all as a gift. He'd seen wolves three times before and here was me, the nature photographer with my big ol' lens, with not a single wolf sighting. I had seen their big pawprints before and I'd seen their scat (at least I'm pretty sure it was wolf scat and not from a coyote...coyotes are quite a bit smaller so need I say more?) Speaking of coyotes, I hardly ever see them anymore and I think it's because wolves have moved into the area and are pushing them out.

Anyway, here's the story...I was walking the dogs with my husband and we were coming to where he saw a wolf pack a couple of years ago. He suggested we have a look around the bend before turning back. So we rounded the bend and lo and behold there's a black wolf loping towards us! I noticed he had a slight limp. He was way down the trail and for some reason he didn't even notice us. Luckily the dogs didn't see him because the vegetation was too high. It was lucky because one of our dogs is a big barker and she would've definitely blown any chance I had at a good shot of the wolf.

I took a few quick shots. Here's the only one that wasn't blurry. He was still pretty far away...I've cropped this picture down a little, by the way.

Black Wolf

I could tell that my view of him would be blocked by that bush you can see on the lefthand side of the photo, and I also knew that my dog would start barking once she spotted him. So I tossed Osa's leash to my husband and he held onto both dogs. Then I climbed onto a little rise so that I could be ready to take his picture when he rounded the corner and got clear of the bushes.

My heart was beating pretty wildly while I waited for him to round the bend...it was probably only a few seconds but it felt like a lot longer! The second he came around the bend he spotted me. I only had time to get this shot of him standing there in surprise before he trotted across the field about 150 feet into the woods. This picture is cropped, by the way.


I could see that he had beautiful grey markings on the backs of his legs as well as the markings you can see on his face and chest.

Four days later, the same wolf (I'm 95% sure) ran across the highway in front of us as we were driving home from the same area.

And here's the most amazing part...I've never seen a wolf in the wild before. I've never seen a bobcat before either. But within one hour that morning, I saw a wolf and two bobcats!

I'll save the bobcat story and pictures for my next post. Stay tuned!

4 comments:

  1. What a beautiful moment! Thanks for sharing it with us!

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  2. Thanks, Amy Jo! It really was a thrilling moment. I have his picture on my desktop and I'm always admiring how handsome he is.

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  3. Very nice story and pics! I have just seen the bobcat picture at Zazzle and it's beautiful too. No wonder your heart beats wildly when you see these and many other wonderful creatures so close, in their natural habitat, and they look straight at you with their beautiful intelligent eyes. I would be absolutely thrilled too.

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  4. Thanks for your comment, SuevianArts! Yes, there's really nothing to compare with looking a wild animal in the eyes. It's always an amazing experience too if you get to spend some time with them and learn something about their behaviour. It's one of the ways I most like to spend my time...it really soothes the soul.

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