Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Denali - Lynx
I have been blessed in my life to have had some incredible experiences viewing and photographing wildlife. My third evening in Denali for 2010 season was in the top ten. After arriving in Denali, I had driven the park road for two evenings and the critter viewing wasn't especially great. So, on night three thought I would check on my favorite beaver lodge. Last season I had taken over 20 trips watching the clan's activities. It was exciting while heading down to the lodge in the snow because I could tell that I was the first visitor to the area since last fall. When I arrived, there was a small open water area (10' x 20') directly in front of the lodge.
After about an hour the beavers began to come out onto the ice. They began eating some of their stashed willow limbs from the winter cache.
Eventually the entire family came out and was out on the ice right in front of me.
After several enjoyable hours of watching their activities, I saw something approaching from the woods, to my left, in my peripheral vision. I was in leafy camo and secluded, so whatever was moving towards the beavers could not see me. Not moving an inch I could just see that the animal was a gray color. I thought that it was either a wolf or coyote. My heart was racing and I hardly didn't want to blink, wondering what I was about to witness. Well as you did see, from the top image, that the animal ended up being a Lynx. Man was I excited.
He made a wimpy attempt at catching one of the beavers on the ice. The beavers all dove into the water quickly. The Lynx never really had a chance.
After the beavers dove in, the Lynx walked over to where they exited and looked down into the water. The green tint of the water from the adjacent conifers and his face reflection in the water was awesome to see, let alone photograph.
The Lynx could hear the camera shutter go off and looked in my direction. Next, what was amazing, was that he laid down next to the opening for 45 minutes hoping the beavers would show up again right in front of me!
When he gave up and left the water opening into the woods, he sat down for a minute and stared in my direction, still trying to figure me out. My heart was racing the entire time.
I thanked the photo Gods immensely. Swear I am the luckiest guy in the world and so fortunate to see what I have in my life.
This week is my final week of training. Officially start in uniform this weekend when we open the Visitor Center. Things are just starting to open outside the park. Still gets down below freezing every night.
Blue Skies all.