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.