Lilac Blooming on May 23rd, 2021.

Digital, 2021.

The last lilac blooms of the season! Aren’t they gorgeous? I’m so glad I got to photograph them in the late afternoon/early evening light. I was really happy with the way the soft warm lighting illuminated the blooms. The last photo especially is one of my all time favourites.

I’ll never forget photographing this series for a very specific reason. While I was shooting these, I kept hearing footsteps in the grass across from me. I wasn’t able to see what it was since the lilac tree was pretty tall and there was a tombstone blocking my way. I thought nothing of it and automatically assumed it was my mom, playing a joke and coming to sneak up on me. I told myself not to jump when she inevitably would shout “boo!” Except… it never came.

I finished taking my photos and walked back to where my dad and brother were standing a little ways away. I asked my dad where mom was because I kept hearing those footsteps. While asking, I turned around and there she was, behind me, a few metres away. My dad joked that maybe it was a ghost, curious, and wanting to see my photos. I laughed it off and grabbed my mom, wanting to show her the pretty lilac tree. Only… to be greeted by a coyote!

Yeah, that’s right!

He was a few feet away from us (thanks for social distancing!) and turned around to look at us before trotting off. At first we thought he was someone’s pet but there was no leash and no other human around and he did not look like a domesticated dog. We’ve seen another coyote in the area but that one was very malnourished looking with a damaged tail. This animal was big and clearly capable.

I wanted to take my phone out to record everything but I was rooted to the ground. My brain shut down, total deer in headlights mode, until my brother yelled at us to get to the car and to go now. So that’s what we did, being careful that we weren’t in eyeshot of the coyote. We’ve visited a few times since then and we haven’t seen the coyote since. It’s funny to think that while I was taking photos and thinking it was my mom playing a joke on me, it was actually a coyote very close by.

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