Saturday, October 31, 2009

Meeting a wolf

I figured it might be appropriate to talk about our recent meeting with a wolf since it's Hallowe'en.
It was mid-September.  We were returning from our long road trip and decided to take the scenic route home from Edmonton AB by going through the Rockies - we went through Jasper and Banff National Parks.  Shortly after it got Dark we crossed into British Columbia and the Kootenay National Park (which by the way was listed #2 on National Geographic's top world destinations recently).  As we were driving I kept seeing shadowy shapes on the side of the road, so I slowed down a bit, wary of hitting something.  Then there it was, standing calmly on the side of the road - a wolf.  I had passed it, but I wasn't going to just keep driving.  I pulled a U-turn and went back.  It was still there, watching us calmly.  It was beautiful - like a light colored German Shepherd (think the "Littlest Hobo" if you're a Canadian who grew up in the 80s.) but with much longer legs.
My two dogs were in the back of he car behind the grate, and when they noticed the wolf they went ballistic!  Not only did they bark, but they growled - which is very unusual for them.  The wolf obviously heard them, but seemed completely unfazed.  It made not a peep.  It walked a leisurely pace along the road for a ways and we followed it.  It would glance back at us from time to time.  My wife took several shots of it with the camera, but it was dark and only one really turned out at all (I'll add it later).
My daughters were in awe, of course.  It's a rare thing to see a wolf in the wild!

For me it was a dream come true.  I have been fascinated with wolves since childhood and always wanted to glimpse one in the wild.  I sure wasn't disappointed.  And it wasn't over!

After the wolf finally loped off into the woods, we started driving.  Not thirty second later we had to stop as a wolf-pup (probably born this past spring) crossed the road and jumped over a concrete divider on the other side.  It was very cute - just like a puppy.  But no match for a bear cub's cuteness.

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