Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Endangered Mexican wolf sighting about 8 miles north of Snow Lake, NM.

I still haven't had time to go through all the photos I took while on the backpack with Tailwinds two weeks ago. But here are 3 photos from the last morning of our hike. I'm posting some of my last day photos first because seeing a wolf for the first time was the highlight of our 93 mile, 5.5 day backpack from Pie Town to Snow Lake.

Our last day of hiking was a 9 mile section north of Snow Lake. This is where we heard early morning wolf cries, noticed wolf tracks on this two track jeep CDT trail/road, and early after beginning our morning hike, actually saw our very first ever wolf sighting.

This is what the two track CDT trail/road we were backpacking on looked like. For miles and miles in all directions, all we saw were grasslands. We first spotted our wolf on the right side of the road, loping toward and then across the road, heading east/left, from about as far away as the pictured tree. He repeatedly loped on a bit, stopped and stared at us for about 30 seconds and then loped off again. He disappeared out of sight as he loped into a ravine about a 1000 yards or more away. As the wolf entered the ravine, an elk hurriedly ran out of the opposite side of the ravine, obviously not interested in keeping company with the wolf.

The wolf gifted us with more entertain as he ran back out of the ravine, in our direction, but safely well ahead of us. Loping and staring just as before.

All in all we had about 30 minutes of prime time wolf viewing before he left our sight. The wolf was not only far enough away for his and our comfort level, but he was far enough away that capturing and in-focus, unblurred photo was impossible with the small Canon, Powershot A640 I was using.

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