…morning light is magic…

Once-in-a-Lifetime at Yellowstone

Our second coyote encounter on Day 1 at Yellowstone was incredible.  One of our workshop leaders spotted a coyote crossing the river at a distance.  We got out of the snow coach and walked down the road to try to get a better view of him.  He got up on the bank and made his way to our right in the snow, catching some food along the way.


Three of us went with Jared further upstream and waited for him to come to us.  While sitting in a snowbank, got some cool shots of the coyote working his way along a small winding creek at the bottom of our hill.  Was very happy to get those shots and expected him to continue along his way at the base of this hill.


All of a sudden, he took off and ran/jumped up the hill directly towards us.  Luckily didn’t have my tripod or would have missed some of the shots as I had to lean back and to my left to shoot as a small tree got in the way.

He bounded up the hill while glancing from left to right with making direct eye contact with me several times.  He would blast up out of the snow, which created a cool ring of snow around him.  As he got closer, began to wonder if he was going to run right into me so I briefly lifted my head up to see how close that he was getting and he veered off to my left, leaving me with some full frame shots as he went by.




He kept going up the hill while almost face-planting into the snow allowing for a couple of cool head shots.  At the top of the hill, he looked back at us and then went down the road like nothing happened.  He left us with the thought “What just happened and did we capture it?”  Downloading my photos revealed that I got 37 out of 40 photos in the sequence in focus when he ran up the hill in about 75 seconds.  Have a 12 frames/sec camera really paid off.

I keep having these once-in-a-lifetime photography experiences in Yellowstone, which will ensure that I keep going back.  Thanks again Jared and Doug.  One of my favorite Yellowstone encounters ever.

All photos were taken with Canon 1DX and Canon 500mm F4 IS II lens, handheld

Manual mode, 1/1600 sec @ F8, ISO 400, 500mm

6 responses

  1. Randy Bacon

    Congratulations Tim, these shots are special. Kudos to you for being ready when the magic happened.

    February 9, 2019 at 7:58 pm

  2. Thanks Randy. It was a very pleasant surprise and happened fast. Must have been in the zone as I don’t remember being too excited about it, until I saw my photos.

    February 9, 2019 at 9:25 pm

  3. Joseph Benzenhoefer

    I’m pretty sure I would have dropped the camera. Well done Tim.

    February 10, 2019 at 7:31 am

  4. Thanks Joe. Didn’t have much time to react as it was very sudden that he took off up the hill towards me. Luckily instinct and muscle-memory took over. Taking photos of fast moving birds likely helped prepare me for this. Yellowstone is a magical place in the winter.

    February 10, 2019 at 1:38 pm

  5. Just wow! That must have got your heart rate up.

    February 14, 2019 at 10:46 am

  6. Thanks Lyle. Appreciate your comment. It happened too quickly to get overly excited from what I remember. My heart pumped more when climbing out of the snow bank.

    February 14, 2019 at 7:21 pm

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