Monday, July 6, 2009

5 July 2009

I return to find the previous morning's breakfast missing. I hope that someone came back for it. As at least one of yesterday's coyotes found me out I shift position again. Further, further now down the trail. I push through some spindly small trees and one branch pushes back a little too hard. I look up to see a coyote staring me down--only for a moment--then he dissolves into the night.
I think to myself that's probably it for this morning and haven't even set up yet. Mist forms out over a distant pond. I wish to myself that it would come my way. It is cool and calm once again. Usually if I hear noises behind me I don't turn around--but stay still in hopes of not giving my location away. But today something told me to look. A branch snaps somewhere behind and down from me. I look to see a coyote pushing her way through the shrubs to come out into the open grassland. This is our collared female, and the first I've seen of her since that cold, rainy night. She is in excellent condition, and thankfully so is the collar. She does not see me so I take the opportunity to swing the camera around almost 180 degrees. There is a large shrub between us now, and I make more adjustments--exposure, focus, width of frame. I open my left eye to gauge where she'll pop out from behind the shrub, readjust frame, focus, look again and she's seen me. Too late--she's dove back into the thick cover behind me.
Two coyotes, two mornings in a row.
Two buck pick their way through the dense growth almost a mile from me. They are merely red dots, but work their way closer. But as they disappear, two does graze their way into the meadow. They are fawnless. One clearly is a yearling, the other much larger.
I wait. Song sparrow, Eastern towhee, Yellow-billed cuckoo, Great blue heron, American robin, and American goldfinch all help pass the time.
The sun is high in the sky now, and I give up my post.

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