A mixed bag post – the primitive horse painting and more coyote puppies

Redone background

Redone background

I worked some on the background of the primitive horse this week.  It just was floating too much so I added a complementary lilac to the background.  It still didn’t seem quite enough.  I decided to add more of the mossy green I had originally placed around the base. Then more and more.  When it finally felt like I was on the verge of overdoing it I stopped.  I think I like it better now.

I caught something!

I caught something!

I thought I’d add an update on the puppies today, too. We have seen them several more times in the last few days – once for almost an hour as they wandered about the back yard, hunting and playing.

On top of the wood pile

On top of the wood pile

It turns out that there are actually 5 of them.  Once when they were out and wandered farther away from the woods, a doe ran top speed across the lawn past them.  Soon afterwards mom and dad came out from just where we thought they might be watching and moved them back closer to the woods.  That’s when we saw the fifth one.  It must not be quite so bold as the others.  I was glad to see the parents.  As we suspected, the pups are not unsupervised and the parents are keeping a close watch from just inside the woods where we can’t see them.

OOOHHHHH Coyote pups !!!

I had planned to show what further work I had done on the primitive horse painting today, but circumstances dictate a different direction. I think you’ll agree.

4 coyote pups!

4 coyote pups!

Last Thursday as we were shutting the shades for the evening we saw 4 coyote pups playing and hunting in the backyard.  John had just cut the grass in the afternoon and often after that there are a lot of insects moving around, displaced by the mowing.  They had a grand time finding and eating all kinds of bugs.  They wandered back and forth for about 15 minutes stirring up the insects and then munching down what they found. Two eventually disappeared back into the woods on the left and two went over the dirt ledge at the lakeside.  We never saw mom and dad but I am sure they were not far away – probably just inside the woods where we could not see them.  I’ll be looking out there often now that we know that they are around. A little bit later, two returned.  I think it was probably the pair from the lake’s edge.  I noticed one of them had a very distinctive white tipped tail.  I should be able to identify him in the future.

A pup

A pup close-up

It wasn’t as intimate an encounter as when pups came up onto the porch, but I’ll take it any day.  Here is a link to a description of that encounter that I posted in March 2011.  I believe that these pups are about the same age.  If I recall correctly that happened in June 2009.  They seem to be about the same size and another month would make quite a difference in size.


Another pup

Another pup

And to top it off, Mr. Turtle showed up earlier the same day. I was glancing out the window to the lake and saw him walking through the cut grass.  I snapped a few new photos of him.  Who knows – he might make a nice small drawing with his brown shell and yellow markings.  I was sure glad to see him for myself.

Watching the wildlife

Looking for lunch

I finished the inking on the next picture but I didn’t feel that it was different enough to post, so I thought I’d put up a few of the wildlife photos I mentioned earlier instead.  Here is the coyote hunting for his lunch.  He was quite a big guy and rather blonde and in fact, until I saw his face, I thought he might have been a dog.  He spent quite a bit of time over there looking for mice, voles, moles,  or whatever and finally caught something.

Dining out

He pounced and then lay down with his catch.  I couldn’t tell what he had, but he grabbed at it, tossing his head to get rid of fur it seemed, and then swallowed whatever it was.  He spent about half an hour hunting over the same area, but I didn’t see him catching anything else.  I didn’t see any other coyotes at the time, but we certainly have heard them a lot over the last few weeks.  It is breeding season now so they are singing to themselves, I think.  I am keeping my fingers crossed to see puppies again.

Resting does

A few days earlier I saw several deer out in the back yard and just in the  woods.  The does were resting among the trees and then I saw the young buck move out into the open.  I wonder how he managed to break his antler.  Was he trying to play with the big boys a little to early?  Did he find out who the big boss really was?  I am sure that next year he will be much more skillful.  He was on the large side, so I think he might end up with a nice rack in a few years and join the big boys herd.

Young buck

A Coyote on frozen pond

I’ve been working so hard on the bookmarks that little else has happened in the studio.  Since I am up to date on that, here is another look at the wildlife at Wild Crane Overlook Studio.

We were sitting down to lunch one cold February afternoon and I looked out over the lake. I could see a large canine down by the shallow end of the lake, but I couldn’t tell if it was a dog or a coyote. Since I have been hoping to get a picture of the local coyote population to publish, I ran and got the binoculars. Sure enough it was a VERY large coyote so another run for the camera ensued and a switch to the telephoto lens was quickly accomplished. (It is tough knowing what lens to leave on the camera since I have a macro, a wide angle zoom and a telephoto and rarely is the proper one on.) I managed to switch the lens before he loped off into the woods. It’s not the best of shots but it’ll do for now.  I later heard that there were three others in the vicinity, but I didn’t see the rest until a few days after this.

A BIG coyote

I really wanted to post a picture of the coyote because a year and a half ago we had the most special experience right outside our door. Our daughter was living with us for a few months until her condo was ready to close. I was up early too and working at the sink when I saw a coyote racing back and forth in the trees at the front of the house. It disappeared and then, shortly later, it or another reappeared, still dashing back and forth in a very peculiar manner. I called attention to it to my daughter and we watched the coyote race around. We soon found out why. It disappeared again and a minute or two later we saw three coyote puppies tumble out of the trees.  I called for her to come and look and ran to the bedroom to get my husband.  The puppies ran up towards the house and ended up right outside the bathroom window less than two feet from where we stood.  A fourth showed up and as the three of us squeezed into the bathroom around the one window, we watched them play in my flower beds.  One even got up onto the porch deck.  We stood mezmerized for the several minutes they gamboled up next to the house.  I never even thought about the camera , just enjoying this very special moment.  Suddenly they all looked up into to the line of trees and raced off.  Mom and dad must have been calling.  John swears he saw a fifth as they ran away.  You could have knocked us over with a feather.  These days, when I hear them howling in the middle of the night, I wonder if any of the pack could be one of the ones we all saw up close and very personal.