March 9th, 2010

Feeding time is a sacred time in the snowy valleys of Yellowstone in the winter. Here, every chance at a meal is essential to survival. We were lucky enough to watch a coyote hunting around in a small valley.

Just got to say, check out the pink little feet on that vole…

Anyway, we waited around for a long time watching this coyote roaming about when he started to stop and was clearly listening. It was adorable, he would freeze and then cock his head to either side and wait then swivel to the other side. It was amazing to watch this creature hunt.

The take off jump!

It was extremely amusing watching the coyote pouncing in and out of the snow. It reminded me a lot of my dog who does the same exact thing… except to rocks. She has amazing survival skills. Anyways, I digress. I must say I was rooting for the coyote the whole time. It must be so hard just to find a couple of meals a day out here where the snow covers everything. I just wanted him to find some food so he could survive. We all practically cheer when the coyote  snagged something.

He snatched a little vole out of a hole in the snow. He seemed to really be reveling in his victorious catch. He played with it for at least fifteen minutes.

I would also like to mention at this point about how I am getting these shots. Previously I was using a 600 lens, but that was when the coyote was lying down taking a nap. My dad got to use it when the coyote was hunting. …. No I am not jealous 😀 But at this time I was using a 400 lens… minus a tripod. This was extremely difficult because that thing gets heavy after holding it for a while. So I resorted to using a rock and my arm at a 90 degree angle as a tripod. Nifty huh? Still when we left my arm was so dead, but it was worth it.

As mentioned, the coyote was playing with his food like in this picture. He would pick it up, drop it, or spit it out like here. Also in the first picture he was tossing the vole into the air and catching it. It was really amazing to watch, but I did feel bad for the vole.

A moment of silence for the vole.

…. And we’re done. Hey, the coyote deserved to play with his food, even if it was bad manners to play with his food. He worked hard for it. If I worked that hard for my food I would play with it too. Anyways we left the coyote in peace with his prize and moved on with our day. Just another day in a winter wonderland where survival is earned every snow trodden step of the way.

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3 Responses to “Yellowstone: Feeding Time”

  1. Gregory Howard Ebert III says:

    wow that is savage. Looks like a tasty meal!. Im jealous of this trip!

  2. Maiya says:

    These are gorgeous pictures!! I also noticed how you used digress in a regular sentence and that made me think of the SAT and how i tried to learn vocab for it and now i’m addicted to learning vocabulary. wow. the end.

  3. monica says:

    i use digress regularly, actually as much as possible. It is one of my favorite phrases to hear, i love it when people say, well i digress 😀 makes me smile. And you know who else loves to digress, no other than DANTE!