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Cold night, wintry valley, lone wolf - nature landscape painting -

Cold night, wintry valley, lone wolf

Artist: Ivo Vicic
Soboli, Croatia

A winter night in November. The temperature is 16 °F (-9 °C), with snow and wind: a typical winter snowstorm. This valley is in a remote, mountainous area approximately 1,100 meters above sea level.


During the night, a fox came. Echoing from the mountainsides, its screaming and barking was unusually loud. It stayed  for a long time, vocalizing at intervals: unusual at this time of year, this high in the mountains. Maybe it’s aware of the lone wolf and this frantic screaming is a sign of fear. Eventually, the fox leaves and the storm intensifies into a blizzard.


Out of nowhere, the wolf starts to howl. First cautiously, then louder and louder, becoming prolonged and full of expression.


For some time, this place was a meeting point for wolf packs. Such places are used particularly in the summer, when new pups have been born. There was a den somewhere in the valley to the north, a few kilometers away, but it seems that the pack is no longer present. Maybe it has descended to the lower slopes of the mountain, following the winter movements of its prey, but there is no evidence of wolves in this region whatsoever: no paw prints, scat, or howling in the night. Yet, suddenly, during the blizzard, the lone wolf howled intermittently for 20 minutes.


This behavior is rare. I have recorded wolves, wolf packs, and their behavior many times, but have never heard or recorded howling like this: lonely, expressive, and (I believe) a little sad. At the time, poaching was going on in these forests and, despite being under the protection of the state, wolves were under attack. Maybe it was calling for its pack, or to find a mate. Maybe they are all gone. is a completely free streaming service of 800+ nature sounds from around the world, offering natural soundscapes and guided meditations for people who wish to listen to nature, relax, and become more connected.

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