Saturday, June 8, 2013

Yellowstone - Part Four - Other canines

Coyotes seemed to be everywhere.  Between them and the ravens, both were on cleanup duty everywhere.  Wherever there was a carcass, both of them were there.  I loved watching the coyotes bounce run in Lamar Valley. It was just like those loony toons cartoons from back in the day.  The wolves glide as they run so its easy to distinguish the two even from far away.  The coyotes always served as intermission entertainment when we were waiting for the larger and more charismatic megafauna to arrive.  As I took photo after photo of coyotes, I remarked that I would have a million coyote photos when I got home.  Most of them were blurry, too far, or butt shots and therefore deleted, but I kept many as they were so charismatic and omnipresent.  Here are the coyotes near a carcass that was currently being visited by the black wolf and later the grizzly bear, which were both discussed in earlier chapters. 

Coyotes and ravens near a carcass in Lamar Valley. 
Here's a super far shot of a coyote and a couple ravens on a baby bison carcass.  We spent a lot of time in this area as there was a lot of action.  The mother bison stayed in the area for a very long time and we'd watch her go back and forth.  Her herd was in the distance and every once in awhile we thought she'd go back to them, but she'd head back closer to her dead baby.  We thought maybe the baby was stillborn, but all of these were guesses at this distance. It was tough to watch her internal battle. Later on she was gone and presumed to be back with her least that's what I hoped. 

Coyotes and ravens again on a carcass.
After my tour had ended, I drove the same roads in my spare time looking for wildlife. I had some success and found this very close and compliant coyote near the road.  All these shots were taken out my window.  This mother coyote seemed to eating the grass in the field, which I found unusual.  She definitely had grass stalks sticking out of her mouth.  I know cats eat grass when they aren't feeling well so perhaps that's what was going on here. 
Mama coyote looking for some grass.
Foxes are perhaps the hardest canine to find in Yellowstone and I'm not counting the folks that decide to bring their dogs.  I saw three foxes the whole time.  The first one had a dead marten in its mouth and was trotting down the road in front of us. I never got a shot (this is a shot one of my tour members got) as we were both moving, but it was close and fun to watch.  It eventually headed off the road and into the brush.

 The second sighting was surrounded by a crazy and very close mob scene.  It was darting in and out of the young pine tree stand and only offered very brief and partial glimpses.  It really felt like a paparazzi scene and we couldn't bear to stop and join that crazy crowd.  So we stopped past it and saw an interesting battle that will be discussed in a later chapter. 
But on my solo travels, I saw a few people pulled off the road and so I joined them.  Turns out this fox seemed to be tailed by a herd of pronghorn. I'm still not sure what that was about, but this cute fox popped up of the sagebrush periodically. 
You looking at me?

I'm out of here.

No comments: