Walking with the Coyotes and the Desert Discovery Center

Late one very warm October afternoon I went for a hike out in Tucson Mountian Park  to the  Desert Discovery Center. The center sits on the western slop of the mountains among ironwood trees and saguaros. I had never been out there before and was not totally sure what I was going to find.

The center is located in an old homestead and the trail begins at the parks pullout G-10. If the gate is locked you will need to hike in. The trail is the road to the center,  and along the way there are some nice big saguaros, some great views and reminders of  the past. When you arrive at the center you come to a parking area with a shipping container and an old livestock loading ramp.

The place was deserted when I arrived yet there was evidence of recent activity. A work area that seemed to have a project half finished,  a note on one of the doors and a gas barbecue. I found several things to photograph, mostly detail stuff and then I saw the old pots sitting next to a wall and I had found the image of the hike. The sun was just about to set so the light was near perfect, I made several exposures with different compositions before I was satisfied.

As I left the center I could hear two different packs of coyotes calling out. One pack sounded close by to my left and the other pack was a bit farther away to my right. Then I realized that the ones to my left were only about thirty yards away when I spotted two of the healthiest and best looking coyotes I had ever seen. I stopped and picked up a couple of rocks just in case. The coyotes were traveling in the same direction and I would get glimpses of 3 or 4 others as they moved through the brush. The animal that I took to be the leader  had an absolutely beautiful coat, I suspect that he may have been the result of a cross bread with a Mexican wolf or a German shepherd. I talked to them as I do with all the animals I encounter and told them I was not there to harm, and soon they disappeared through the brush.

I arrived back at the car knowing that I had made  several nice images and had a great experience walking with the coyotes.