Saturday, January 20, 2007

The coyotes were extremely vocal last night. They woke us several times with their howls - not an easy feat since we live in a fairly sound-proof house. Each time we got up to check on the llamas. They seemed awake and wary but safe. We went for our normal run at about 8am and a half mile from our house we were suddenly stopped in our tracks by a particularly enthusiastic round of coyote howls. It seemed like it went on forever. Then all of a sudden a new tone entered the symphony. A much deeper lone howl sounding like a train whistle - the wolf! The coyote voices were silenced immediately. It is my theory, based on limited observation and not one shred of scientific proof, that the coyotes howl like that during the daytime hours when they have a kill. Ken and I decided to alter our normal course and run into the breaks to the north of our house to see if we could find some evidence of what was causing the uproar. The idea was that if we could find a carcass we could set up a blind at a safe distance to get some decent photos of the coyotes and maybe even a wolf. Despite a solid hour's worth of searching high and low we were unable to come up with anything worthwhile and so headed back to the house to get ready to go to Pahaska Teepee for a day of snowshoeing. We picked up our good friend Mary and headed toward the East entrance of Yellowstone Park. One of the perks of driving down the Northfork this time of year is the certainty of seeing bighorn sheep. We weren't disappointed as we came across three separate gatherings of the animals and managed to get a few good shots.We spent the next few hours enjoying the snowy trails and then headed home. It is snowing a little bit right now. Good for finding fresh tracks tomorrow, bad for my drive to Billings.

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