Saturday, January 11, 2014


On a recent hike in Tilden and Wildcat Canyon parks, I was walking down the trail when I noticed a coyote walking towards me on the trail.

As soon as the coyote noticed me on his trail, he set off under a barbed wire fence into a nearby field. I was able to watch the coyote and take a few photos through the fence.

He sat down for a moment and scooted on his behind.

Then he set off into a wooded area. I am not positive, but I wonder if this a coyote I saw a couple of years ago in Tilden ( In 2011, the coyote I saw had a newly raw area on its rear right leg. This coyote I recently saw was not putting weight on his rear right let, which had a raw look about it. You can also notice in the top photo that the coyote is missing part of his left ear. In any case, this coyote struck me as a real survivor. He definitely had the appearance of an animal that had survived more than one battle.

Later, I saw a second healthier looking coyote, who I was hoping was going to hunt some of the turkeys that were further up this hillside. No luck this time, but I know the coyotes hunt the turkeys. So maybe I will get lucky one day.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Resolutions and a Refresh

Happy 2014! It's hard to believe a new year is already up on us. I was lucky enough to have many great moments with wildlife in 2013, and I have shared so few of those encounters. As I look forward to 2014, I have decided it is time to post more photos.

When I first started this blog, I thought I would post of my excursions regularly. And I started with that idea. But then I began to worry about the animals I was photographing. I had a few experiences where one charismatic creature was the focus of many photographers, and I began to feel increasingly uncomfortable contributing to those moments. So, for the most part, I will not reveal the location of my wildlife encounters, and I would appreciate it if others do not try to figure out where I saw these animals.

As I have spent more time out looking for animals, I have tried to develop my skills at noticing animal signs and also my patience and respect for the animals I am lucky enough to see. There are many, many days when I do not see any of the animals I am hoping to. But there are also the magical days when I see something amazing. Hope you enjoy viewing photos from some of those encounters.

Here are some more photos from a very lucky day when I saw a Long Tailed Weasel. This was only the second time I had seen one. My first sighting was so quick that I did not capture a single shot.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Tule Elk with Bone

Tule Elk with Skull, originally uploaded by Jen Joynt.
When I am out looking for animals, I see all sorts of strange things. But this was one of the strangest. I was trying to capture some nice shots of the Tule Elk with the blooming yellow lupine when I heard this strange sucking sound. When I tried to figure out what it was, I noticed this elk sucking on a bone (I thought it looked like an elk skull, but I was corrected. It is a pelvis bone of another animal).

My best guess was that it was sucking the skull for minerals. I welcome any other theories.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Pika Surprise

At the end of the summer, I went in search of American Pika, in hopes of finding them actively gathering greenery for their hay piles.

As luck would have it, I was fighting a cold and the high elevation on the day I had to look for them. My fatigue led me to take many breaks on flat rocks in the talus slope. During one break, a curious Pika surprised me by popping out of the rocks right near where I was sitting. I did not want to move and scare off the pika, which led to some awkward angles and camera holds. But I did manage a few fun shots of this cute pika.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Belated Happy Mother's Day!

Give me my worm!

I recently was delighted to see this cute young chickadee, who was crying loudly for food.

The mother (or perhaps father) brought a nice fat worm and gave it to the chick.


But then the mother seemed to change her mind and grabbed the worm and tried to pull it away from her young.


The mother won, and the little chickadee had to resort to crying some more. Perhaps the mother decided that the worm was too big? Or maybe she was just really hungry.


Bonus photo of a young fawn I was lucky enough to spot the day before mother's day.

Happy Mother's Day

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Ducklings flee danger

Ducklings flee

I had been watching a River Otter work its way around a pond, looking for fish.

otter swim

I noticed that it was getting closer to a mother duck and her ducklings. The mother took off first, leaving her charges on their own. Three of the ducklings took off soon after their mother, but I noticed one little duckling left behind.

left behind2

This duckling did eventually set off in the direction of its siblings.

here i come

All the little ducklings escaped on this day, but I know that a few fish did not, including the one that seemed to leave this otter looking so satisfied.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Bunny Time

Curious look from rabbit

I have always enjoyed looking for rabbits out on the trail, whether I am running, mountain biking, or just walking with my camera. Until recently, however, I have found that rabbits are a difficult subject to photograph. They are shy and skittish, appropriate enough for a prey animal.

One, two bunnies

For some reason, this year, in the East Bay Regional Parks, I have enjoyed a few fun encounters with rabbits, a few who even seemed to pose for the camera (like the one at the top). Or a couple like the two below who were almost hidden under a bush.

Bunny time

Almost Hidden

And quite a few who would continue eating their grass while watching me closely.

bunny (5)