Thursday, January 30, 2020
THE SEASON OF WHINING
I’ve heard a lot of it lately: I wouldn’t mind winter so much if it would snow instead of this rainy stuff we’ve been having. And: These gray skies are really getting to me. When is the sun gonna shine again? I have to admit to some inner whining myself, as I’ve searched for some new subjects to photograph in the dead of winter.
The Cedar Waxwings surely must have arrived by now to the fruit trees laden with frozen, fermented crab apples. Not!
So I’ll head over to the ballpark and photograph a few Snowy Owls. I’ve seen four there so far this winter in various areas. They are often perched atop the light poles as they hunt the fields for critters. Not today. And it was such a gray day that the park lights were on!
Maybe there’ll be one atop the tall Pepsi building. They have a great vantage point there to the few open fields left in Chum’s Village. Nope. I struck out in the ballpark too. But I’ve done this photography thing long enough to not become totally disheartened at my plans not coming to fruition. I’ve learned to trust the process that something will materialize.
And then it did. I was driving along a country road with an open, snowy field to my right. I saw movement in the distance against a backdrop of trees, stopped the car, and turned it around to watch. At first, I thought the critter was a fox, but then the legs were too long and the body too large. No, it was a coyote.
It stopped and watched me, assessing the level of danger I presented. Deciding I probably was harmless, it moved on.
It put its nose to the snow sniffing for critters underneath. Mice or voles, perhaps?
It went into a pounce, like I’ve seen foxes do so often. I only caught the tail end of it, though. I wasn’t sure if it was successful in capturing some prey.
It continued to sniff the ground, so I’m guessing that it’d come up empty.
It turned around and sniffed in another direction, and I got to see the coyote’s beautiful bushy tail. Almost as lovely as the tails of the red fox I’d photographed in Northport.
The coyote moved on, vigilant for another opportunity to hunt. I headed home without a thought of whining in my head, grateful for the chance to see a creature I'd not photographed before.