Wednesday, December 12, 2012


All photos on this entry taken with 120 - 400 mm Sigma telephoto lens

How about a coyote for a change?
I guess I have been wearing out the bald eagle subject.  The thing is that I use this blog to document findings for myself because it's easier for me to find the shots than it is to search my data base on hard drives.  It's difficult to find one particular eagle picture when I've got over a hundred twenty thousand pictures to sift through.  I tend to post too many blase shots of the same subject.  Of course the reader can just scroll down and skip the repetitive pictures.  Oh well - its a blog and I'm not a professional blogster.  Is that a word?
OK, OK - I just had to stick that silhouette on here.  No more.  I promise.  Maybe-Sorta.
The lake was cold this morning.  My thermometer read 31 degrees ambient temperature when I reached the lake and there was a breeze blowing.  Whew - it was cold!  There was only one truck and boat trailer on the boat ramp parking lot.  Oh well - mine is not to wonder why but, to do or -- ain't sayin it.

I started seeing eagles within 15 minutes of launching the boat.  I documented and documented.  All were back lighted so I didn't take many pictures.  They all would turn out like the one above.

I entered the designated water of responsibility and immediately saw a fisherman.  His fish were handled and I got my hands wet to include my jacket sleeve during the process.  Wow, it was cold.  My fingers were actually burning.  I pulled away from his boat and jammed my hands through the false pocket holes in the coveralls and into my pants pockets.  When I withdrew my right hand to turn the steering wheel - I found my fingers to be stiff.  I had four more hours to go before the comfort of the truck.

 An adult eagle was sitting in a tree back from the shoreline just a bit.  Huge rocks surrounded a little spot large enough to stick the nose of the boat into, which I did.  I wanted to warm my hands at full stand still anyway.  I almost couldn't write the coordinates down.  Back into the pockets the hands went.  It was then I turned to my right and almost had a heart attack.  There before me was a coyote laying on top a boulder staring directly into my face.  First thing I said to my self was, "careless, careless."

I acted like I didn't notice him and casually pulled the camera out of the Pelican waterproof box, removed the lens cap and slowly pulled it to my face and found I couldn't feel the shutter button.  Oh man!  I pushed down twice on the button until the camera clicked verifying that my finger tip was where it needed to be.  The waves were rocking the boat trying to push it up onto the shoreline.  The shutter speed was low, 125th, as it was overcast and dark down here beneath the trees.  If he ran I would not be able to stop his motion and blurred shots would be the result.  He didn't run.  Below are the results of the effort.  There are what seems repetitive shots because opportunities like this do not present themselves often.  Actually they are rare.

I fiddled with the camera so long trying to get my fingers working that he became nervous and started to move off.  Oh no!  Am I going to blow it?  Then, I said out loud, "hey you!"
He stopped instantly and swung his head around to look directly at me.
He was climbing over the rocks heading for the top of the cliff and the forest beyond.  He decided I was a curiosity and worth a moment hesitation in his retreat.  Notice, if you will, the large spot on his back where the hair is short.  He may have mange or some skin disease.  Hard to tell.  Here are the rest of the photos.

What you are looking at is a critter that is totally adaptable to any environmental situation and any climate.  I don't know about Antarctica but, I bet he could make it even there.  That's what puts them in the sights of so many rifles.  He is opportunistic and will take any animal he feels he can handle for a meal.  Coyotes are shot on sight and hunted relentlessly.  It's not his fault.  Again, as always, its human fault.  Human habitation intrudes on habitat and habitat is altered.  Not all creatures can adapt and they pass on into the past.  Coyotes are masters at adaptation.  That is a masterful skill to have and a shame they have it at the same time for it places their future at the muzzle end of the gun.

He started moving on up the hill.  I said, "hey" in a calm, soft voice.  He stopped again. He needs to wise up or some fisherman in a boat with a handgun will end his days.

He entered the forested area and stopped for one more look at me.  I silently wished him well and bid him good by.
What a morning!  What an experience!  Well - you wanted diversity.

I was freezing.  I put in another one hour and headed down the lake.  I think I ran into five more fishing boats which isn't bad for these kinds of temperatures.  I hope you liked these shots of the coyote.  I'll see what I can turn up for next time.  If it was Summer I'd go get some timber rattlers and copperheads for ya.  Thanks for sticking with me on this blog.  I appreciate your readership.  See ya.