Winter in Montana: Part 1

» Posted by on Jan 29, 2013 in Featured, Montana, on location

My wife and I went to Kalispell, MT in the middle of the Winter. The only reason I could convince my wife to spend about a week in Montana in Winter  where highs never really got over 22F/-6C, was a chance to watch and take pictures of “winter cats” (lynx, bobcat). But in addition to the cats, we had the opportunity to see a coyote, a few wolves, and a few foxes.

Let’s focus on the “smaller cats” first. We got to watch a Canadian Lynx and a Canadian Lynx kitten. They were  really cute with their furry tufts on their ears, their long legs and wide paws. The kitten’s paws were white, as if it was wearing mittens to walk in the snow. It was really hard not to try to take it home with us.

A focused Canadian lynx (Lynx canadensis).

A focused Canadian lynx (Lynx canadensis).

A Canadian lynx kitten (Lynx canadensis).

A Canadian lynx kitten (Lynx canadensis).

A Canadian lynx kitten (Lynx canadensis) running towards us.

A Canadian lynx kitten (Lynx canadensis) running towards us.

Then we saw a feisty bobcat. A bobcat is smaller than an adult Lynx. Its tufts are smaller too. Its fur generally displays more black streaks than its cousin the lynx. Its spotted patterning acts as camouflage. It got something to play with in the snow and would just show us its face full of snow, that was adorable.

It's not a lynx but a bobcat (they are related).

It’s not a lynx but a bobcat (they are related).

Not really happy to see us  (bobcat (Lynx rufus))

Not really happy to see us (bobcat (Lynx rufus))

The coyote, also known as the American jackal, was by far the cutest of the canid category. He would join us howling. What a bunch of coyotes we made!

Coyote (Canis latrans) howling

Coyote (Canis latrans) howling

The coyote (Canis latrans), also known as the American jackal, brush wolf, or the prairie wolf.

The coyote (Canis latrans), also known as the American jackal, brush wolf, or the prairie wolf.

The coyote (Canis latrans), also known as the American jackal, brush wolf, or the prairie wolf.

The coyote (Canis latrans), also known as the American jackal, brush wolf, or the prairie wolf.

Watch out, this is  wolf.

Watch out, this is a wolf.

According to wikipedia, the black Wolf is a mutation which occurred in domestic dogs, and was carried to wolves through wolf-dog hybridization. This guy was very impressive as its eyes were yellow and really reminded me of wolves from the scary bed stories.

Fox

Fox

The Crossfox  (not really a red Fox nor a silver Fox) was very active, most of the time its nose in the snow, probably looking for food.

How did we get so lucky and manage to see all those animals in their environment in 6 days. Luck has almost nothing to do with it (except for the weather), the next chapter of our trip will reveal the secret behind those images as well as images of “big cats”.

All the images presented here are available for licensing or as fine art prints.