Coyote in the Back Yard

Sometimes inspiration for this blog just shows up like the coyote standing in the snow about 15 feet from my office window. I am not enough of a naturalist to tell whether it’s a male or female, but it’s a beauty with clean, gray fur. I call to Hank in the kitchen and he sees the animal, too.

Finding food is definitely the purpose of the coyote’s morning visit. Rabbits. We have plenty of them living in the sagebrush. I see their tracks and droppings in the snow. I startle them when I come and go from our home. So far this cold winter, their population hasn’t diminished, but that might change with the appearance of this coyote.

I am not sentimental about the rabbits. I have to use heavy wire mesh to keep them from my gardens and bushes. I plant stuff they don’t like to eat. One year, a previous generation of rabbits climbed into the engine compartment of our Subaru and ate the wires. Twice.

We count on the coyotes — and the circling hawks — to keep the rabbits down. We hear the coyotes call as they travel through the sagebrush and arroyos of our sparsely settled neighborhood. So much variety in their songs. Sometimes a pack of coyotes will go up the hill to taunt a neighbor’s dogs behind their chain link fence. Last summer two got the feral cat we adopted. Trickster coyotes.

The coyote turns my way. It eyes me and then walks casually into the sagebrush. Such is life on the mesa.


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