My visit to the wolves this morning was the primary reason for this trip, and I’ve been looking forward to it for a couple of months now. The centre has 6 wolves, all of which were bred in captivity, and are part of a wolf education program. Each day, one or two wolves are taken out for exercise, and it is possible for a number of people to join in on these walks.
I was very lucky, expecting to be part of a group of 5 or so people, I turned up this morning to find that I was the only person signed up. It was just me, Casey (the owner), Maya (the wolf) and Jackson (a Karelian Bear Dog).
We drove up about 10 minutes into the Blaeberry valley, where we parked the trucks and headed up into the woods. We walked for about 1 1/2 hours, enjoying the sun and watching Maya. She was fairly shy, but did come up and give my hand a lick. Of course, as well as watching and chatting with Casey, I was also busy with the camera (despite the full backpack, I used the 5D with the 70-200mm the whole time), trying to get some good portraits and action shots.
From a photographic point of view it was quite challenging – firstly, focusing on a wolf which is moving towards you is a difficult, and a number of potential shots were not focused. The light coming through the trees was also very variable, so it was sometime difficult to expose well. I haven’t yet had time to go through the full collection of photos, and the laptop is grinding to a bit of a halt. More photos will follow later on the website.
The experience was fantastic, and one I’d gladly repeat.