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Howling to a Full Moon Rising April 7, 2006

Posted by Kim in Camping, Travel, Wildlife.
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Last year, my cousin, his wife and I traveled to northern Utah to fish the Flaming Gorge section of the Green River… the subject of which I will reserve for a future post. However, on that trip, we camped for several days at a campground in a burned out area near the river. We did not select this site for its beauty, but because it was close to the boat launch and take-out areas. A major forest fire several years earlier had been responsible for the devastation and our initial intent was to remain for one night then search for a more attractive campsite. It was our observations that first night that caused us to remain several days and prompts this post.

At first observation, the area around the campsite was bleak. Every direction one looked there was a forest of blackened remnants of the juniper and pinion pines that once flourished here… under them a carpet of golden grasses. In the distance could be seen a backdrop of rolling hills and ridges themselves like attired. We set about collecting wood (no lack of that…) noticing patches of wildflowers still remaining even though it was now early summer. As the sun disappeared, and the dusk intensified, a full moon appeared over a distant ridge. And with it came the haunting howl of a lone coyote. Now this is something that might not seem exciting to many of you out there, but to this Florida boy, it was attention grabbing. It was to be shortly followed by an answering bay coming from a distance ridge in another direction. What followed was a series of answering calls… many animals singing their greetings to each other and to the rising moon. This exchange continued for ten minuets or so before coming to an end for the night. It would repeat every night we were there occurring later each night awaiting the moon’s first appearance above the ridge. We never saw the coyotes, but we heard them every night.

Mother Nature often provides compensation when something of hers is altered. Had we been camping under a blanket of a lush, thick forest, I feel certain we would have missed the essence of this image; Howling to a Full Moon Rising.

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