It’s been a couple months since I’ve posted images from this little Elk Island trek with my mum, so I figured it was time to share a few more. I really wish I had more video than just a few snippets here and there, because it really was a spectacular morning. Have the snow fall down on us as we wandered around was simply rejuvenating! I was explaining to my good mate tonight the health benefits of being around nature and I thought, why not break it down here? Besides quality time with our cameras:
This is a long post, but please bear with me (rawr!) and make sure to check out the Alberta SRD link I provide at the end of the post on the coyote (canis latrans). A few months ago, this young coyote was spotted by me as I was crouched in the field, trying to photograph a muskrat. I’m used to being around wildlife, especially when on my own, so I thought nothing of it and kept waiting for this muskrat to reappear. My spidey senses tingled and I turned around and he was coming right for me. I wasn’t nervous, but I also know wild animals are just that, wild. This wasn’t my concern though … my big concern was the simple fact he was approaching me in not only a non-threatening manner, but worse, he wanted to get as close as possible. It was obvious he was ridiculously acclimated to human presence, and he was looking at me as a food source, hoping I would dish something out.
I really wish I was fast enough on my feet to turn the camera vertical, so I could capture a full body shot, leading to a more powerful image. I only had seconds to react, and I screwed up, but this is one of the challenges of wildlife photography. Something so simple I missed, but to be honest, I was more concerned with his coming at me and studying how he reacted. I actually had to shoo him away. But there’s more …
First up — before we touch on Plains bison biology, it looks like I’m having some WordPress gallery bugs that have just crept up in the past week. Any new images I upload to galleries are not appearing! Hopefully my kickin’ web chap, (Hi Adam!) can help me figure this out. I’ve seen some folks complain about it in WordPress forums, so at least I’m not alone. Watch, now that I’ve written a post about it, the fix is probably right in front of me, haha. Let’s hope it’s that easy!
Until then, below are some old Plains bison images from 2010. They aren’t my best (terrible midday light, blown out everything – shudder, poor composition, distracting elements, etc), but I like them because it’s a little insight into the social and behavioural actions of Plains bison. They are highly social animals, and usually stick together in herds. The mothers are also very close to their young, like most species. In the first image, this shows how close the little calf remains to his mum and another female. I watched these bison for some time and the calf almost always had physical contact with his mum. So how else are such images helpful?