Before we ever got into Yosemite National Park we spotted this coyote perched on top of a mossy rock framed by branches. He seemed so peaceful siting there, he didn’t even seem to mind me watching him. He looked very healthy for a coyote. He looked so fluffy and welcoming, I really would have liked to pet him if he wasn’t a wild animal. So instead I just enjoyed his beauty from a safe distance.
One of the most important parts of doing wildlife photography is respecting the animals I photograph. Some people will do anything to get their shot, even putting themselves in danger for the sake of the shot. Some, which is even worst, put stress on the animal. I always try to not disturb the animal that I am photographing in order to preserve the serene mood of the picture. It is important to remember that it is a wild animal being photographed and even though it is beautiful or even adorable, it needs to be treated with the utmost caution and respect for its true nature.
When in the park we had more encounters with majestic coyotes. In a meadow out infront of Curry Village there were two or three coyotes wandering around in the snowy, misty meadow searching for food. It was very hard to get a good angle on them because they were constantly moving around the meadow. So when I moved out into the boardwalk they went to the river, and when I went to the river the went back to the boardwalk. Needless to say I was running in circles around the meadow for quite some time trying to get a good shot of at least one of them. Frustrating and tiring but totally worth it.
I got some pictures of a coyote hunting, which I must say is a very funny thing to watch in the snow. They walk around until they hear a sound. Then they slowly inch forward to where they heard the sound. Once there they stand there with their eyes deadlocked on the ground tilting their heads back and forth. They bobble their hed side to side listening to whatever small prey lies beneath the surface of the snow. Then they bring their back legs right up next to their front legs, crouch, and then spring into the air to pounce!
It is so funny watching this hunting technique and I am glad that I got a head on shot of his pounce unlike my time watching a coyote hunting in Yellowstone. I love watching wildlife in its most pristine yet savage moments. Like even this simple act of watching a coyote hunting allows me to have a sneak peek into the vicious cycle that is life. I can’t wait to witness more of this to better understand how this cycle, and our lives work.