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#40158 - 01/02/14 10:31 PM Wolves in Winter - Wolf Conservation Center
James Morrissey Offline
I
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/11/05
Loc: Manhattan, New York, New York
James Morrissey and Chanthee Keokhaw, of Wild Coyote Studio, shared photos from their most recent trip to the Wolf Conservation Center in Brewster, New York.

http://www.nwpphotoforum.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=40158


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#40159 - 01/02/14 10:50 PM Re: Wolves in Winter - Wolf Conservation Center [Re: James Morrissey]
James Morrissey Offline
I
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/11/05
Loc: Manhattan, New York, New York
I have been wanting to photograph the wolves at the New York Wolf Conservation Center in the snow for at least two years. For whatever reason, every time we had fresh snow coming, I was unable to make it up there. A few weeks back, my wife and I were supposed to head up to Rhode Island to visit family. Our intended victim had to cancel and all of a sudden we had a free weekend! It also turned out we had a bonafide snow storm on the horizon.









According to the weather reports, snow was supposed to start at about 6 AM. The sunrise was going to occur around 7:30 AM. I called Maggie Howell, Director of the Wolf Preserve, and asked if it would be possible for us to get up there in the morning shortly after the snow started. Luck was with us and she was able to get us in there in the morning. Due to the large amount of snow that was forecasted, we agreed that morning was the only way to go as we did not want to be stuck in Brewster.



We promised to be there by 8:30 AM. Leaving home at about 7:30 AM, it was already snowing hard. By the time we got off of the Hutchinson River Parkway, we were starting to think that maybe this was not such a good idea after-all. Even driving a Subaru, I did not feel entirely confident. While the car made it up the hill of the preserve (it is at least a 12% grade), it did not do it gracefully. We were thinking that it would be prudent to cut the morning as short as possible...maybe to an hour or so.















Once we got into the compound, all complaints and machinations quickly ended. We were so incredibly fortunate to see the wolves in a way that we had always hoped before. The snow pack was already a few inches and the wolves were covered in a fresh coat of snow. Our old friends, Zephyr, Alawa and Atka were all there (these are the ambassador wolves that are not for re-introduction into the wild). There were also some beautiful Mexican Gray Wolves that we had not seen before.


















I was having such a good time shooting the Mexican Gray Wolf and I realized that I might want to get a bit 'closer.' I had left my long lens (the Sigma 120-300 F2.8 OS) in the blind by the two North American Gray Wolves (Zephyr and Alawa) and made the hike back to their section of the refuge. When I got there, I saw them both sitting together and I practically crowed. What luck!




Speaking to one of the fellows who worked there, we learned that all of the people who were scheduled to attend that day had cancelled - all except one. A 7 year old had been promised by his parent to come and see the wolves for his birthday, and they were going to make it hell or high water.
As Chanthee and I were getting ready to wrap up, the wolves started howling. They were greeting the young visitor in the best way that wolves possibly can. Hearing a wolf howl, in the flesh, always goes straight through my bones. It is completely exhilarating and it is easy to forget where I am - and briefly even who I am.





It also reminded me yet again of how important places like the NY Wolf Conservation Center are. Wolves live such a precarious existence in our country. Opportunities to learn about them and see them in the flesh makes their conservation dreadfully important. If you get a chance, check them out. Please. If you have a few extra pennies, please consider them between the light and the rent.

www.nywolf.org
_________________________
Manhattan, New York, NY Pet Photographer


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