A fleeting glimpse

After a day of fishing and hiking, and after the evening meal of chili and cornbread, I slump slightly in my camp chair, legs stretched out, feet reaching for the warmth of the campfire in the cold dark night. Our tents await us just a few feet away, the airbeds inside piled with warm quilts. My friends’ faces glow as we encircle the fire, hashing out the dreams, plans, and concerns of our souls for hours on end. In the lull of our conversation, the distant cry of a wild animal sounds, then another joins in, and another. All other living creatures of the night give way as the coyotes make their presence known, yelping and howling as they pass, sounding as if they’re mere feet from our camp. We focus our eyes on flames dancing in the fire, or the abundance of stars in the sky, until the coyotes’ cries fade into the night.

I’d always wanted to photograph a coyote. I finally caught sight of one west of Georgetown one spring evening. Outlined by the setting sun, he looked right at me.

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