The morning started at 5:15AM the temperature was 32 degrees with temps expecting to go up to the high 40’s. Driving to our location was a bit challenging with the dense fog, but we made it.
We decided we would visit a spot that we have always been drawn to but stayed out due to the large tick issue in that area. We decided to give a try since we had a cold snap for a bit and boy we were not disappointed!
It all began as we were descending a hill and approaching a curve in the trail that the light with the fog allowed me to see the silhouette of something perched on a branch of a tree. It was amazing to discover it was a Great Horned Owl, and it was very comfy in this location as if it owned it. The owl tolerated us pointing our cameras for a few minutes then decided to fly back just a little but not too far. We decided to heed the sign and just hang about by the swamp in the area and hoped the owl would not find us as a threat and maybe make an appearance for us.
As time goes bye after sitting quietly I hear this sound, a familiar sound, almost like an Otter crunching it’s snack. I look at the swamp and notice this HUGE dark blob on the edge of the ice. I decide to go closer and see if I can identify what it is. As I was getting closer I decided it must be a stump because it seriously hadn’t moved at all. So I walk ed back to my spot to sit and my husband decides to get closer to check it out. He goes closer and then makes his way back and says yeah a stump. No sooner did he say that and turn around to sit back down I hear and see the stump go KURPLUNK into the water! We both just started cracking up laughing because it was a beaver that was on the ice.
So we settle down after a few minutes of a good chuckle and we hear a flock of Blue Jays going spastic to our left, so we are listening and scanning the area to see what possibly could be about but didn’t see anything. We thought maybe the owl was preying about and the birds were not happy, but something inside told me different. Meanwhile, I was looking to the right while listening to the birds going on and on and on and had this insatiable desire to go to the right. I was hoping the beaver would come back out and I could get some shots of it. It seriously was the largest I have ever seen as of yet. So we were walking over toward the swamp when the Blue Jays all just STOPPED and there was dead silence in the air. We both looked at each other and turned to see if anything could be in back of us and saw nothing. As I was turning to the right again I caught something moving on the ice of the swamp and at first I thought a bobcat but then realized it was a coyote. As I took a photo of the coyote it stopped and looked at me! I went to take another shot and there was a second coyote that came out and they both tromped off.
The coyotes were moving in the direction we were going to have to go to leave so we decided to sit a short bit. We decided that we would head out and get a coffee after seven miles of trekking it would be wonderful to have a hot coffee. As we made out way back up to the open path we turned and started around the bend when I saw two animals up a ways in front of us. I asked my husband to get the bear spray ready just in case, and I remember thinking in my head that I know as much as I am blessed I am cursed. That my first wonderful time having a close encounter with wild Coyotes would end like this. I took my camera and focused in on them and realized that it wasn’t two coyotes but two does!
The two does hung around and just watched us approach and nonchalantly waltzed off into the woods. This truly was a meant to be day and perfectly orchestrated by something much larger than ourselves and truly amazing to say the least. If this is the start to the season I sure do hope it is a sign for us we are so blessed.