Lying awake in my bed on those autumn nights so long ago I well recall the southerly wind brushing lightly across my chest as I listened to the calls of nocturnal creatures as they engaged in their secret life after dark along the Brazos river bottom. A screech owl softly whistles from his perch in the ancient mesquite only a few feet from my window and the rustle of a jackrabbit nibbling on grass nearby were but two of the many melodies that I strained to hear in those impressionable years some half a century ago on the old League Ranch in Knox County, Texas. But the lead singer had yet to make an appearance and sleep would not come until I heard at least one stanza from this furry artist whom I knew was gearing up for his nightly gig somewhere along the brushy river bottom or perhaps along the meandering course of Rattlesnake Creek to the west of our home.
We know the coyote has been a creature of intrigue for at least a thousand years as the form of this little canine appears in the form of petroglyphs and pictographs in rocky grottos throughout America. My intrigue began early in life on the old League Ranch where the howl of coyotes echoed across the badlands in the hours of nightfall and I imagined the life that they lead out there in the surly country along the Brazos river.
It is said that some of the greatest and most astute naturalist in history were hunters and trappers, individuals who virtually lived in the outdoors and possessed a keen sense of observation for all living creatures around them. Thus I became a student of coyote hunting and, once in college at Texas Tech University, engaged in coyote research that further developed the depth of knowledge on this fascinating and durable canine that has captured the imagination of so many people through the ages.
A source of folklore and to some an enigma of puzzling character, the coyote will continue to be a creature of delight and perhaps to many an animal of disdain. Speaking for myself, the some 45 years of fascination that I have possessed for this animal has enriched my life greatly and I hope you will enjoy this visual introduction to“Coyote” as I offer you here a few images from over 25 years of engaging photographically with this resourceful little canine.