The one that got away

I have a soft spot in my heart for wolves. They are beautiful creatures with strongly structured families. Wolves take a team approach to hunting, led by an alpha male and female.  So when I saw a wolf while exploring a forest road in Colorado, I got very excited. OK. Probably too excited. So excited I missed the shot. And here I am, 6 years later, still kicking myself.

The date was June 17, 2014. I was exploring Forest Road 631 near Williams Creek Campground late in the afternoon when my eye caught a movement over my left shoulder. I turned and saw a wolf that I must have spooked, running through the field about 150 feet from my truck! If I stopped to photograph it, it would have gotten way ahead of me and the best I could hope for was a shot of its backside through the windshield. To make matters worse, I had been shooting landscapes and had a wide angle zoom on my Sony A77, instead of a tele-zoom.

I grabbed the camera, flipped the zoom all the way to the widest angle and started shooting blindly, one-handed, through the open window with my right hand while aiming towards the wolf running alongside the truck. I got 9 shots off before the wolf turned and ran in front of the truck on the 10th shot and disappeared into the woods on the right.

I stopped, breathless as I pushed the review button on the camera, praying that I had it at the right angle, focused, to get at least one shot of that once-in-a-lifetime encounter.

Alas, it was not to be.

My hopes were dashed as I reviewed one picture after another of trees, meadows, mountains and rocks. No wolf. I had aimed the camera too high.

A week later, I reviewed the images again on the computer and finally found the wolf on that 10th and final image. Can you see it? There's a wolf in this picture. No, really! It's actually a wolf!