You might not know this, but Arizona is dry. Not all of it, all of the time, but even the wet parts are a bit on the parched side of things in May and June. It posed an unexpected challenge.
Last time I went looking for wolves, it was the muddy season, a mix of snow in the shady places and mud everywhere else. Now, slippery, cold, and muddy has its own drawbacks — mostly how slippery, cold, and muddy everything is — but it’s got one solid pro to balance out those cons: Tracking is easy.
Not so much when everything is coarse, dry, cinder dirt that won’t hold a track any better than a broken record player.
Still, we managed to track down one wolf, twice. And even get a couple ok photos. Jacob’s ended up getting featured by Arizona Highways. Mine, not so much. But it was a week of hard work, ending in not one but two successes, and the privilege of watching an endangered wolf run wild through the forest is more than sufficient reward.
Still, monsoon season is here, which means thunder, lightning, and, most importantly, mud.