Saturday, January 18, 2020

Another Big Nighttime Visitor


A couple mornings ago, when Burley and I woke up and first went outside, I saw new tracks in the snow. One advantage of getting more snow almost every day, is the ability to easily pick out and follow fresh tracks. Burley has a pretty huge foot print for a barely 50 pound dog. Much larger than many dogs his size, and this serves him well for living in deep snow country as those big feet act a bit like snowshoes. But at first glance I knew these tracks were not Burley's. They were two to three times larger than his feet. My first thought was that our resident mountain lion had visited again. But a second glance let me know that they were not cat tracks. Just like a house cat, mountain lions can retract their claws, so their paw prints just have a pad and toes, no nail print visible. Each of these tracks I was looking at had a very clear nail print at
the end of each toe. Wolves, like dogs, can not retract their toenails, so I was pretty sure it was a wolf track. Though there was a small chance someone's dog could have walked through. But that would be unlikely since very few domestic dogs have feet this large, and there are no neighbors close enough to us for another dog to just wander over.

So I decided to check the game camera. Again, I don't do this every day, but it has been fun to have it there to check every week or so just to see what might have walked by when we were not looking or were sleeping. And sure enough, we had a wolf on camera. He actually hung out in the yard/driveway for almost an hour from the time stamps on the photos.

 I'm fairly sure this is a solo wolf who had been living in the general area for a few years at least. I've seen his tracks around here over the years and know a few folks in the area who have seen him, and he's always alone. I'm not sure why he's not with a pack, but he and his tracks are always solo. This is a bit unusual as most wolves do live and travel in packs of which I've seen or crossed paths with several times as well. Maybe sometime he'll cooperate and I'll see him in the daylight and get a real clear photo.


That is Fy Nyth right behind the snowbank behind the wolf in case you can't tell. :) The game camera doesn't light the scene very well that far back at night. From the tracks and the photos, I don't think he ever came up to the house or porch. Burley does wake me up to tell me about wild things that do that at night. So far it's been things like a bear or a porcupine. I'm totally fine with alerts to things that are actually inches (because of course our porch is quite small) from our door. But he usually ignores wildlife that walks further out through the yard at night. Which is also great as that happens most nights with at least a fox or something and I don't care to be awakened every night. So we both slept soundly through this visit. But it was neat to not only know the wolf came by thanks to his tracks, but to have some photos documenting that as well. In this last shot, you can see he's looking directly at the camera. The "flash" is almost totally invisible unless you are looking directly at the camera when it's taking a picture, then there's a slight flicker visible. The photo before must have caught his eye, and for this one he was staring right at the camera. 


So there you have our latest big visitor, a Canadian Grey Wolf in front of Fy Nyth!



42 comments:

  1. thank you for this . So interesting.

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  2. Hello beautiful and Burley too, sure do miss your videos on YouTube. Yes he's a very big guy hopefully you and Burley don't run into him on a walk or in your area. Hopefully you will do a video soon your faithful viewer from va MK

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    1. We'll do our best to keep Burley far from him for sure. Thanks!

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  3. Totally missing you and your videos but glad we can keep in touch with your blog !Enjoy the Snow ! Hugs ,Peace and God Bless you Ariel !

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  4. That is so cool! Do you ever hear them howling in the woods?

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    1. Sometimes yes. In this video you can hear what I heard from my bedroom window one night - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSAywEutZ7E

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  5. Awesome to think you share your homestead with Gods magnificent creatures, isn’t it? I wonder with Miss Tine, if you hear them him howling? If he is truly a lone wolf, would he try and connect with a pack? I don’t know that much about them..

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    1. It is amazing. Sometimes yes. In this video you can hear what I heard from my bedroom window one night - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSAywEutZ7E . There's a pack not far away, but for whatever reason he's not part of it.

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  6. Totally Cool. Still waiting for Big Foot.

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    1. If he shows up on my camera, you'll see a post about it. But I don't know of any one seeing one in this area or any stories from around here ever.

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  7. REALLY GREAT TO HEAR THE ODD BIT OF NEWS FROM YOU NOW AND THEN ARIEL. MISS YOUR VIDEOS A LOT, ESPECIALLY THE COOKING TIPS.BETTER WISH YOU AND BURLEY A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR BEFORE I FORGET, HOPE YE HAD A PEACEFUL TIME OVER THE HOLIDAY PERIOD. NOT A SNOWFLAKE HERE IN IRELAND AS YET, ONLY DIM,GREY DISMAL,COLD WET DAYS.SUPPOSE YOU ARE LUCKY IT WAS ONLY A WOLFAND NOT OL BIGFOOT COME TO VISIT,REGARDS.

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    1. I hope you get a few flakes and less grey soon!

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  8. Burley is such a good boy! Glad the wolf didn't come up to investigate your house. Odd that it travels alone.

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    1. He is. Yeah he seems to be an odd loaner in the wolf world.

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  9. Quite a shot with your house in the background.

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    1. It's been fun to see what walks by in front of our home.

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  10. WOW thats so cool! I do miss your u-tube videos. Dave Vann

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    1. Isn't it? I find the wild things fascinating.

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    1. There's wolves not far from your place too. Do you ever see or hear them?

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  12. It is Good to hear from you again Ariel. Your game camera seems to be working very well. Great shots. Your night time animals look pretty scary. I'm glad that y'all are inside then and hopefully these animals don't come around your place during the daylight hours. Ariel, You and Burley stay safe. I will keep watching this Blog of yours.

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    1. It is fun to have a photo of the things we don't see in person! And yes, very nice to be safe and cozy inside.

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  13. Hi Ariel, great shots of the wolf. He must be a single guy. LOL. Sure love your blog. Let's us keep up with what's going on with you. Love to you and Burley.

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    1. It's fun to have at least a grainy shot of what comes by when we're sleeping. :)

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  14. Fantastic content...miss you, Ariel on YouTube, but support your rationale for your decision to take a break. Best of luck to a lovely young lady with incredible skills and talent!

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  15. Super cool spot Ariel!! Miss your videos so much, gope you're havung a great start to your year!!

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  16. Wow this is exciting, very cool!! I sure do miss your videos on youtube. I wish you the best and I am happy to see your blogs. Take care and keep safe and warm.

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  17. Would they attack you or Burley during the day or at night? If so, what would you do? I am east coast and clueless on this. Thanks.

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    1. That's possible, but given the option wolves will generally try to avoid humans. Burley doesn't go outside alone in the dark and neither do I without checking the whole clearing for any animals that might be around. See this video for more discussion of all that - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6ODwyDYM9o

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  18. I guessed it was a wolf from the first photo. Love it :) and thanks again for sharing Ariel. I wonder too why he would be alone. Miss your videos Ariel. Thinking of you and Burley during the extra cold snap the country has been having lately. Be warm and safe. Give pets to Burley from me.

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    1. Seems like every now and then one decides to live alone. Thanks!

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  19. One night, a wolf knocked our stock-panel yard gate off its hinges. We found our dog burrowed into the deepest recess of the tool shed. We found the tracks. Dad heard the snarl, and heard the gate hit the ground. And yes, we live on Main Street, in town. We've seen wolves about a dozen times, and heard them howl countless times. It's awesome to experience a part of nature that many people never do.

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    1. Wow! What town is that? I'm guessing not in most of the lower 48? Cool experience!

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  20. I do hope you carry a nice 45 caliber when you go outside.

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    1. See this video for lots of discussion on safety and living with big critters - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6ODwyDYM9o

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