Anatomy of a photo #86: Coyote tongue


This is a continuation in my series of catching animals having a little slip of the tongue… or in some cases, like this one, a not so little slip. This is not about showing close up detailed images of animal tongues, but rather just catching them in the act of life. It all started when reviewing photos, and realizing how many images I had of animals showing their tongues, sometimes captured on purpose (such as here) and other times not realizing it until I arrived home and began reviewing images. I’ve found that catching them in a yawn can be a great time to see that bit of pink, this coyote being a great example.

This was the first image I captured in this mini-series. Almost felt like I was being sized up for breakfast with the lip licking

This was the first image I captured in this mini-series. Almost felt like I was being sized up for breakfast with the lip licking

I came across this sleepy coyote (although there is nothing sleepy about the eyes) while waiting to explore the Hazel-Atlas Sand Mine, a now defunct mine where they excavated first coal and then sand (for making ketchup bottles and in foundries) in the 1920′s, on the other side of the bay from San Francisco. (You can see photos from within the mine, which is rather an interesting place here.)

It almost makes you want to join in with your won yawn

It almost makes you want to join in with your own yawn

There were several other coyotes around that I also got some nice images of, however, since none of them showed off their tongues, they don’t get to be a part of this little series. The land above the mines is beautiful- vast rolling hills in a 600+ acre park, carving out a space of quiet within sight of San Francisco Bay. Lots of history to explore, but even better lots of wildlife.

This image always puts me in mind of the old time lion tamers putting their heads into the lions mouth. Amazing how wide the jaws can spread in a yawn

This image always puts me in mind of the old time lion tamers putting their heads into the lions mouth. Amazing how wide the jaws can spread in a yawn

Well, it’s time to head out and see what the day has to offer, so enjoy yourselves.

About Galen Leeds Photography

Nature and wildlife photographer, exploring the world on his feet and from his kayak. Among other genres, he is one of the leading kayak photographers in Northern California. To learn more about him, visit him on his website- www.galenleeds.net
This entry was posted in Anatomy of a photo, coyote, My favorite Parks, nature photography, tongues, wildlife photography and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Anatomy of a photo #86: Coyote tongue

  1. Loved the photos and story! It’s funny how we as photographers become fixated on certain things as we photograph wildlife.

  2. Vicki says:

    It’s always a pleasure to read what you write…in addition to enjoying and appreciating your photos.

  3. lylekrahn says:

    That is a serious yawn. Made me tired!

  4. ingrid says:

    That’s such a fascinating area to explore, BD Mines. Thanks for linking out to your previous photo series. I’ve been to the park, but never on a mine tour. Wonderful! Great post, too. I’m a staunch advocate for coyotes, given how maligned they tend to be.

    • I don’t make it out that way nearly enough, as it gets to be quite a trek just to get to that side of the bay from where I am, but each time I do make it out that way, I am continually impressed by the system of parks out there. The perfect time to visit the mines is on a hot summer’s day, when the heat is almost oppressive. You step into the mines, and the heat drops down into the sixties and seventies.

      Coyotes are a delightful animal. Very smart and very clever, they just don’t always mix well with what people want, which is really a shame, as we can learn a lot from them.

  5. I thought the first one was having you for dinner too. He or she looks like they are modelling for the cartoon version of the coyote. I will be in San Fran this summer and rather than where we will be touring ( all gardens) I would love to see the 600 acre nature park as one site to see.

    • Very exciting that you will be out this way. There is actually a huge number of parks and nature preserves all around the Sn Francisco Bay, the Black Diamond Park being just a small fraction of the East Bay Regional Park District. There is the Golden Gate National Recreation area to the north, which also encompasses the Point Reyes National Seashore (one of my favorite areas), as well as vast tracts of parks and preserves to the south of the city that I’ve had little chance to explore. I’m sorry to say I know even less about the areas gardens, although I hope they will be fun for you, with their rather different climate from the Niagara area. If you would like any recommendations or an accomplice for any non-garden outings, let me know.

      • Thank you much on the offer, Galen. I so wish I could see the parks that you frequent and meet you in person. You are one of the photographers I really admire and from whom I learn so much. My trip unfortunately is structured with a large group and I would not be able to get away.

        I have a post coming up this weekend that has a hawk in my yard on the hunt. There is a photo sequence of him repeatedly flying through the yard. I tried my hardest to get the action 15 feet out in from of me, taking into account things I learned from you, but boy IS IT HARD to get them on the wing. Also, I shot another hawk in my yard where I snuck right up to him within six feet away. Also I learned the sneaky approach from you. I would be happy if you check out this post since like I said, I could not have tried harder to get these photos (even though they are not my best) all the while thinking how does Galen do this. It will be uploaded after my current post. Thanks again.

  6. david says:

    Nicely captured moments, sounds like a fun series!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s