Another post from Reserve!
Two days ago we stopped as usual around 17:30 next to a pathetic excuse for a water source (a few greenish puddles forming in an otherwise dry stream bed) and started pitching our tent. We noticed 7 ravens flying above, two vultures and some sort of raptor bird. The ravens kept flying over the campsite and back to somewhere just East of us. “Maybe there is a dead animal there” suggested Brian.
Being keen on ravens, I (M) suggested that there would be a good chance of wolves being nearby, too, because any wolf documentary I have ever seen also has ravens in it and it is a well established fact that ravens co-operate with wolves in the North West to guide them to carcasses or sick animals or even to herds in winter, so as to ensure that there will be food for the ravens once the wolves have made a fresh kill or openend up a carcass (which the ravens can’t do very well with their beaks).
We have our dinner (Mac&Cheese) and crawl into our sleeping bags, doze off after a long day’s hike. And it gets dark … and then suddenly nearby a beautyfully plaintive voice rises and is joined by 4 or 5 others to a harmony of high notes, deeper than the coyote and without the comical yodelling. A perfect howling pack of wolves! And closer than any coyote we have heard to far. It only lasted a few minutes and I had to wake Brian up to hear it … but I am very happy now. One of the aims of this hike has been to hear wolves and I thought this wouldn’t happen till we got to Yellowstone!
In the morning we heard some coyote singing in the same direction as the ravens and vultures had been patrolling over the previous evening, so I assume that the coyote got the remains of whatever delicious dead thing once the wolves had moved off.