Jay Ryser

Lakewood, United States

I’m primarily a nature photographer, usually wildlife, and I have lots of access to wildlife in Colorado. My main goal is to capture some...

Big Sigh

It’s a long story, so bear with me.

Yesterday I took the dog (Kodi Bear) back to his favorite park, and we took the horse trails that run through the little used parts of the park. The first half of our walk he kept himself busy trying to ambush voles, and yanking me off my feet most of the time in doing so. His favorite hobby is chasing voles.

As we were approaching the wildlife sanctuary, I spotted a coyote about 30 meters away, looking right at us, posed in a bright sunny patch of open are. His eyes reflected the rising sun and sparkled. I’ve been trying to get a shot of the pair of coyotes here for the better part of a year, without success. They’re crafty critters and always seem to be too far away or duck into the brush before I can get a pic..

I slowly reached for my camera bag and suddenly realized . . . I didn’t bring my camera.

Lesson learned. Always bring the camera, even if, particularly if you’re not expecting to see anything.

So, today I decided to go back to the wildlife sanctuary and stake out the coyote. I got up early (which for me is the usual time anyway), and got my son up as he wanted to get a shot of the coyote was well. The sun was starting to rise and I didn’t want to miss the light or the chance to catch the coyote.

We’re up and on our way when my son tells me his camera batteries are dead and we need to stop and get some. We’re closer to the Kwiky-Mart than we are to home, so we ran in and grabbed batteries and checked out ASAP. Back on the road. We got to the park, grabbed our gear, and I was practically running down the trail to catch the light.

It was about that time that my son decided he might be sick. I had a little GI bug the day before (I’ll spare you the details – suffice to say, it was unpleasant for all involved) – he must have picked it up. A quick call to his mom and she was on her way to collect him while he waited in the car for her. Only a few minutes lost – I still had good light.

I ran down the trail just as the sun was coming over the horizon. I was by the edge of the lake, the geese were starting to waken and stretch their wings before taking off, and the water was picking up all the color of the rising sun. Sure, I could spare a few minutes to grab a shot of that! All I had was the 100-300 – a wide angle would’ve been better, but it would work. I set up the tripod, mounted the lens/camera, turned it on, framed the shot, adjusted a few setting, and . . . noticed the flashing light.

The flashing light indicated I had no memory card in the camera. I forgot to pull it out from the card reader on the computer.

Big sigh.

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