Wildlife photography can test one’s patience like very few endeavours. It’s not just the waiting around for a shot but also those stretches when there doesn’t appear to be any wildlife out there!

Of course there is but none seem willing to be a photographic subject. 

As I tell my sports photographer friends at least they know their subject is going to turn up AND they will have consistent lighting from day to day. 

I have now gone roughly three weeks since snapping an inspiring image – at least one which I personally find inspiring. On that occasion it was another encounter with a coyote (below you will find three of the dozens of images I captured that day). 

Now, I am not saying that I haven’t seen wildlife in my journeys. Not at all. Today for example I spotted an adult bald eagle sitting on its nest along the Grand River. No doubt it was deciding what nest maintenance will be necessary as winter approaches. 

A male northern harrier flew over my car today too. The farmers have begun harvesting the cattle corn which means the harriers will have more territory in which to hunt. Two days ago I also counted six sandhill cranes standing in a newly plowed field. They were waiting for the wind to die down. When the time was right they took off with a running start.  

Despite almost daily excursions I have not seen any of the coyote family since mid-October which worries me since wildlife conservation officers are out in force looking for poachers. I hope the coyotes survive.

This is the season I enjoy camping up in northern Ontario.  I have taken three short trips to Killarney hoping to see bears, wolves and moose. All I saw was a ruffed grouse which stood patiently on a road posing for my camera. 

One of the best things about autumn camping is there are very few people around. It’s generally quiet.  While sitting at my campfire last week reading a good book I heard wolves calling at dusk but during daylight I have not encountered any. 

Local Killarney residents and some hunters I met have tipped me off to possible locations to scout on my next camping trip. I am, therefore, keeping an eye on the weather forecast over the next week or so. There are days when freezing rain is called for – not my cup of tea – and others where it is merely cloudy and sub freezing. That’s preferable.

I haven’t given up on seeing the wolves. 

My final encounter with the coyote family.

The thing about wildlife photography is that these unlucky spells will occur but, in my experience,  always end with a special moment that makes it all worthwhile. Fingers crossed that my patience is never exhausted.


I’d like to thank all of the folks who turned up for my recent presentation “When Wildlife Needs Help’ at Idea Exchange in Cambridge, Ontario. I certainly enjoyed the evening and the feedback I’ve received has been very, very positive. I look forward to planning another one in 2024.



  1. Barbara

    Dear Paul
    I just want you to know how much I enjoyed your Oct talk and photography at the OPO. It was wonderful!
    While camping in Northern Ontario this summer I saw my first Golden Eagle! I wondered if you have ever photographed one? It was an incredible experience.
    Thank you for sharing your blog and fantastic photos with us! Stay warm!

    1. Paul E Gains

      hi Barbara, thanks for coming to the presentation ….I’m pleased you enjoyed it. I have never photographed a golden eagle but according to some folks one has been seen around Waterloo region. Maybe I will be lucky!!!

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