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  • Writer's pictureKaaren Poole

Hearing Coyotes Again

It's been four or five years, at least, since I've heard coyotes on a regular basis. I'd sleep with the window open and eagerly anticipate their night-time performances.

Occasionally, I'd even see them during the daytime. Once, one tried to lure my dog away by engaging her in 'play.' That's a strategy coyotes use to ambush pets, or, at least so I've heard. In Fiona's case, it could well have had a bad outcome for the coyote as Fi is a 100+ pound Great Pyrenees. (I know she doesn't look very fierce with the bow in her hair, but she can get quite serious, and, on occasion, has even gone "into the red zone," especially with hawks flying overhead.)

In any case, at some point, the coyote serenades became scarcer and scarcer until I'd say the animals must have moved on. I don't know why they would. There hasn't been any new construction nearby. My neighbors and I are all on 10 acres, and behind us is quite a large area of undeveloped land. So where did they go? And why would they leave?

I'd read of coyote sightings in Central Park in New York City. Or there'd be the occasional news story about a coyote wandering through Sacramento. If they could be in either of those places, why couldn't they just come back here? I missed them.

On the other hand, my sister, who lives in another house here on the property, didn't miss them. Her cats are in and out all day long, and she was always afraid they'd become coyote chow, especially in the spring when the coyotes were hunting not only for themselves by also for their young. Thank goodness we didn't lose any cats, but we did lose a few chickens back when the chickens were younger and liked to roam outside the fenced garden during the day. So, I guess there was an up side to the coyotes not being around, but I have to admit that though I understood it, I didn't really feel it. Not at all.

Then... Two weeks ago, I heard them! It was quite a performance - yips, howls, all sorts of indescribable sounds that must have struck terror into every small mammal heart. But they put joy in mine. They were back! Yay!

I hope they're back to stay. I've heard them several times since, but not every night. It's a great comfort to me to know they're nearby. They're such remarkable, resilient survivors. Their social life is inspiring, and they're magnificently beautiful to see. Plus, they're dogs! Who doesn't love dogs?

What am I grateful for? Coyotes.

P.S. The coyote picture is from a painting I never finished. It's time.

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