It is the art of patience and being willing to lose that takes front and center in my photography life in Yellowstone.
For the past two mornings I have left the house by 4 a.m. in hopes of seeing wolves at a winter kill bison carcass on the Lamar den hill. A cow bison died of old age at the end of this harsh winter season.
Yesterday morning I saw a fox in the dark but it was gone by daylight, replaced by coyotes. No wolves anywhere during my day long vigil.
This morning, however was quite different. I arrived to the sounds of howls emanating from the den forest. A single howler to my right and a group howling to the left. A coyote was on the carcass but it left, most likely due to the howls. And then the fox came in and feasted for some time, until a couple of coyotes came trotting up. The fox saw them coming and got out of there. The coyotes fed for a very long time. Another one waited in the wings for its chance.
Just as the moon went down the howling erupted again – coyotes singing away and the the wolves, in their same location. Before long my hopes were dashed when the wolves went up over the hill and headed west. They had come several miles from the day before and headed back that way. I had hopes for the lone black wolf but another day long vigil and it never came. Meanwhile, the coyotes are getting a feast.
I prepare for days like this – a book, a game on the phone and the laptop. Plus, it is always good for a nice long nap. A few walks and short drives. But, always hoping, until the day ends.
I did, however, get some nice shots of the coyotes, so the day wasn’t a bust. Plus, I did some night shooting and time lapses. The full moon was so big and bright – it lit up the pre-dawn landscape. And then it was gone.