Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Fox Kits? No, Coyote Pups !



With the glimpse I got yesterday, I thought the three young animals I saw were fox kits. This morning they were back, and they were clearly coyote pups. We got a chance to watch them chase each other, tumble around, play hide and seek around the garden beds, and run at fantastic speed. As fast as they were going it was obvious that they could go much, much faster. Clearly we are part of a pair of coyotes' home territory. Now, when the fire siren from the closest town goes off, or when the moon is full, three young voices have been added to the serenade.

According to the book Tracking and the Art of Seeing by Paul Rezendes, one Native American legend states "If all the creatures in the world were to die, the coyote would be the last one left." They refer to the coyote as a trickster. The grace and speed of these pups was amazing. We only managed one picture, but at least they are in it.

Here in New York hunting of coyotes is allowed. Their habitat is shrinking and it is felt that their numbers should be reduced to prevent coyote encounters with humans. I understand this point of view. It has it's merits. But in the eleven years we have lived here, we have heard them often and seen them occasionally, they are wiley, fast and do not wish to be seen. Watching those pups this morning was a rare treat.
Working in the garden during the day, we don't think about the coyotes, but after dark when their howls drift on the wind, it's nice to listen from inside. Even there the hair bristles on the back of my neck.

3 comments:

Taylor said...

The day I moved into my new house, I looked out the back window and saw a coyote standing on our compost pile. I was inside, so she couldn't smell or hear me, so I was able to watch her for some time before she sauntered off. She was gorgeous and graceful and I've been hoping that she would come back so I could see her again. I know they are "bad" animals to a lot of people, but I can't help but love them for their creativity and adaptability.

Sheila said...

We have coyotes all over the place here in our town. They are detrimental to cats and small dogs, but the poor things are losing their open space.

Elephant's Eye said...

Hunting coyotes to prevent encounters with humans is a sad and slippery path to extinction. Glad to read that some people can still share their world with coyotes.