• whisperingpeaks

Coyote Ugly and Sunsets

January begins the mating season for coyotes or song dogs as I call them. Like them or not, they are anything but ugly.

The mild winter here in northwest Montana makes it a little harder to spot them in grassland due to their coloration. Perfect natural camouflage!

On this outing into the western side of the Mission Valley, I was fortunate to spot six separate coyotes. I was also on a mission to find Short Eared Owls I had observed a couple weeks before but came up empty handed. Sometimes that's how these trips go.

Using my skills as a former hunter turned photographer (I call photography my catch and release hunting) I can increase my chances in finding what I am looking for. It does not always mean I am going to find it just that I may find it more often than not.

About into the search a couple hours I finally found a pair of coyotes. Like I say it is mating season and by March or early April they will have pups.

I watched these two and a couple others a mile or so up the road working the field for voles. They were successful a few times as you could see them pounce much like a cat does but each time they were in areas that made it difficult to capture with the camera.

That is the fun of wildlife photography. You can put the time in, find the subject and then hope they do something animated enough to get a good or great photo. Sometimes they are just captures as such; a couple coyotes wandering around hunting. Still fun to share with all of you.

The truck makes a good blind for birds and such but for the coyotes I use a small backpack blind that folds out and has a seat in it. Not to bad for comfort. People have asked me what I do between sightings and my answer is always the same....I look and observe. It is probably the only thing this guy has patience for....looking and observing.

You really never know what is out there until you slow yourself down enough in life to look and observe.

On the way home, the sun was close to setting and from the looks of the clouds, I could tell it was going to get colorful. I was coming up the east side of Flathead Lake just for that purpose. You can see the sunset over the water. On the west side, the sunset will not have the benefit of the lake in the foreground.

Look at the difference of the two sunsets just 30 minutes and about 25 miles apart.

This one was taken north of Finley Point out of Polson. I set there for about an hour watching and waiting. As the sun was nearing the set, I had this feeling it may be better up the road. I have done this long enough to know sunsets do that to you. You leave a good spot hoping for a better only to miss the opportunity. This day I was lucky.

A few miles up the road this is what was

occurring. This is in what they call Lower Valley area of the Flathead Valley toward the north end of Flathead Lake.

The color literally went until dark in such a magical and spectacular way!

All in all the 19th of January was productive even if I didn't find the Short Eared Owls this trip but I did find coyotes and was treated to a special sunset. I appreciate you riding along with me and taking the time to read and follow my work.

Hey? Keep in mind despite where you are in this world, it truly is beautiful. Sometimes you just have to look a bit deeper or farther. Anytime you need some peace and calm, drop on in and take a look. Hang out for while as well. Have an awesome day!

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