Additional images can be viewed here.
In many parts of California, I actually like early winter better than fall to capture color. The colors just seem more artistic and nuanced in winter than the bright colors of aspen and other flora normally associated with autumn color. The coyote above was wandering across the Yosemite valley floor near Cooks Meadow when I was able to get several images of him before he disappeared into the middle of the valley.
I was actually in Yosemite to watch woodpeckers with a bunch of bird watchers. I've never done this before so it was kind of interesting to see what bird watchers really do. It's pretty impressive. These folks can hear a chirp, identify the kind of woodpecker by its sound, and then actually locate the woodpecker with binoculars in a few seconds. Absolutely incredible. It is also quite funny when one birdwatcher raises their binoculars and then everyone else simultaneously raises their binoculars. Not being an experienced birdwatcher, I'm standing there wondering what the hell everyone is looking at. It's almost like a "senior moment".
As with many of the photos of animals shown on this site, the vast majority were not intended. I'm generally shooting something else and the opportunity to photograph wildlife just presents itself. The trick is to be prepared. Photographers intending to shoot wildlife generally carry high-end, telephoto prime lenses. Since photographing animals is not my intention, I bring along a cropped frame body with telephoto zoom just in case. The better wildlife photographers wouldn't be caught with one of these lenses. In my case, I'd rather capture the image than not capture the image, regardless of the equipment I'm using.
The above image shot was taken with a cropped frame, 16 MP DSLT with 70-400 F4 zoom lens at 10 FPS on carbon fiber tripod.