Coyote after an early morning swim?

/, Coyotes, Utah/Coyote after an early morning swim?

Two days ago I posted images a Prairie Falcon taken in low light, today I am posting images of a Coyote (Canis latrans) in the sweet golden light that occurs right after the sun has risen.

Wet Coyote in early morning lightWet Coyote in early morning light – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/125, ISO 640, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or called in

I’m not exactly sure why this Coyote was wet but it had to have been from the water of the Great Salt Lake because the Coyote was along the causeway to Antelope Island, a couple miles from the park entrance and a couple to the island itself.  Maybe the Coyote run out into the shallow water and splashed its belly, chest and tail because it was startled by some thing like a big truck. We came up on the Coyote just as the sun rose over the Wasatch Mountains and the sun bathed the Coyote in a warm golden light.

The first series of images I took of this beautiful mammal were blurry because my shutter speed was very slow, after a few minutes it did move up to 1/125th so I could create this image. I rested my lens on my window Noodle to stabilize it and fired away.

Wet Coyote on the Antelope Island CausewayWet Coyote on the Antelope Island Causeway – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/100, ISO 640, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or called in

All that brown colored stuff the Coyote is standing on isn’t sand, the sand along the causeway is much lighter colored. Those are actually the pupal casings of Brine Flies, hundreds of thousands of them in a very small area.

We left the Coyote standing there in the sweet light to find its way forward on his or her morning journey along the shoreline of the Great Salt Lake.



  1. Ingrid October 5, 2012 at 2:03 am

    What I find most gratifying about your coyote images is how utterly beautiful these animals are … even at their scruffiest. In the first shot, your eye for the light and the color it cast on the whole coyote is astounding. The eye color matches the color of the coat, all bathed in the hues that come from the hard work of dawn photo shoots.

    • Mia McPherson October 5, 2012 at 7:15 am

      Ingrid, I think that Coyotes are beautiful animals too even when they are scruffy. Those amber eyes mesmerize me! Thanks for commenting.

  2. Karen Bonsell September 26, 2012 at 5:59 am

    Gorgeous shots! That light certainly is special! Are the brine flies there all summer? They were everywhere when we were there in August 2011!

    • Mia McPherson October 5, 2012 at 7:14 am

      Karen, the brine flies are around most of the summer, right now their numbers are decreasing because the cooler weather has come in. I’m sure that in the month of August you saw them at their peak numbers! Thanks for commenting.

  3. Dan Huber September 25, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    Gorgeous shots Mia. I am anxious to see some, have only heard them around the new place.

    • Mia McPherson October 5, 2012 at 7:13 am

      Dan, I hope you get to see and photograph your Coyotes soon! Thanks for commenting.

  4. Jim September 25, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    That wonderful light can add so much to an image. The coyote looks pretty healthy compared to the ones in our area and interesting to read about the ‘noodle’ setup.

    • Mia McPherson October 5, 2012 at 7:12 am

      I agree Jim, light can add so much to an image. Most of our Coyotes do look pretty healthy, except the ones that are being shot right now in Utah. Wildlife management is failing because they don’t know that nature handles it much better than “man” ever could.

  5. Jim Braswell September 24, 2012 at 5:56 pm


  6. under the skies of arkansas September 24, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    that bottom coyote seems to be looking straight at you

    • Mia McPherson October 5, 2012 at 7:10 am

      Thanks much for your comment, I agree!

  7. Azstu September 24, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Wow… great colors.

    • Mia McPherson October 5, 2012 at 7:10 am

      Thanks Stu, I love it when I get great light on beautiful subjects.

  8. Beverly Everson September 24, 2012 at 10:38 am


  9. Carol Mattingly September 24, 2012 at 8:12 am

    Such a beautiful warm morning light on that beautiful creature. Carol

    • Mia McPherson October 5, 2012 at 7:09 am

      Thanks Carol, I do love that sweet light!

  10. Bob Bushell September 24, 2012 at 6:10 am

    Superb shooting, even when your shutterspeed is low.

    • Mia McPherson October 5, 2012 at 7:09 am

      Thanks Bob, resting my lens on my Noodle really helps when my shutter speed is so low.

  11. M. Firpi September 24, 2012 at 4:35 am

    That golden light is beautiful, especially when it’s right on the subject. Beautiful colours.

  12. Robin Follette September 24, 2012 at 4:16 am

    Nice photos! I’ve heard of coyotes wading in to get a drink but haven’t seen it myself. You were fortunate to see it, they’re quite skittish.

    • Mia McPherson October 5, 2012 at 7:08 am

      Robin, the Coyotes here are very skittish and getting more so since the Governor of Utah upped the bounty on these lovely creatures. At the end of September the bounty went from $20 to $50 for a pair of their ears. Makes me ill since they are an integral part of having a natural balance.

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