When photographer Pamela Underhill Karaz walks out her back door in Trenton Falls, New York she is surrounded by 48 acres of forest and fields.  You can only imagine the things she has seen in her own backyard.

In the years she has lived on the property she could hear coyotes howling all most every evening.  On this particular day she happened to be having her morning coffee she spotted one of them cautiously entering a clearing.

All photos: Pamela Underhill Karaz

A male coyote had decided to pop out of the edge of the trees.  He looked around checking out some of the tracks that her dog had left.  That’s when these beautiful pictures were taken.

This coyote took a liking to a dog toy and had a playful romp in the snow with it. 

A blue stuffed animal had been left in the yard the coyote picked it up and proceeded to toss it up in the air just like a doge would toss the toy around.


Underhill Karaz adds that her dogs often leave their toys out in the yard and more than one has disappeared before. She guesses that this is perhaps not the first time the coyote had played (and run off with) her dogs’ toys.

Many animal species exhibit play, and yet we humans can’t help but look on in wonder when we see it in species beyond the dogs and cats we keep domesticated.

Humans think that all wildlife activity is purposeful.The young of many species, play as an essential part of growing up. Through play, the young learn how to hunt and how to fight.

“This was such a wonderful reminder that all animals, the wild and the not so wild (our pets) are really not so different,” Underhill Karaz says. “They have personalities, they have feelings, and they do their best to survive in what is sometimes a very unfriendly world. They are not so very different than us.”

This lasted for about 5 to 10 minutes then he just trotted off. 

Were you in awe of the photos of this wild animal?