I set out this morning with a plan to hike up to Glacier Point for sunrise. I left my room around 3 am with full intentions of drudging up the 4 mile trail, but as I locked my bike up near the trailhead I heard a loud thundering boom — a rockfall. Sounds of deep grumbling bass echoed throughout the valley as rock smashed against rock, earth, and the like.
I stood for a long while trying to decide if I wanted to continue with my commitment, but this seemed as good a reason to bail as any, and a better reason to bail than many.
I chose to bike around the valley and see what I could find. My goal here changed from a very tangible “go up the 4 mile trail and take the sunrise photo,” to a very loose “just have fun and enjoy the autumn weather.”
This morning, as plans changed, I shot along the Merced River and witnessed the most spectacular wildlife observation I’ve had the privilege of experiencing so far. 2 coyotes were gathered around a mule deer carcass — breakfast? After a while a bear dispersed the coyotes, although they still slumped around looking for an in. Eventually 2 other bears emerged out of the woods and tried similarly to obtain the carcass. In the meantime a great unkindness of ravens, numbering at least 30, gathered around the area. The whole river-bend was a fantastic hoopla of raven calls, coyotes yips, bear growls, and the sloshing and ripping of entrails.
I had an image like this in my mind for years, but honestly never thought I would ever get the chance to capture it. This one will always be special to me.