Sunday, July 21, 2013
Uninvited Garden Visitors
Beating the oppressive heat by working in the garden early in the day has been our recent habit. This morning I had been weeding on my hands and knees hidden from view by tall plants. Just after I came inside for water, I heard Becky say, "Oh no". She was looking out of the bedroom window at this year's litter of Eastern Coyote pups. I was able to get close enough for this picture of four cute youngsters. They turned tail and ran along with two additional pups that had been near the shade garden wall. The commotion brought two adults onto the lawn ready to do battle to protect their young. They lingered on station long after the pups had disappeared into the tall weeds.
This has been a difficult year in the garden. Late hard freezes followed by early hot drought really hammered many of the plants. One full month of daily rain kept us from the garden while the weeds claimed it as their own. Throw in the young deer that seems inclined to fight rather than run and our plate is full. Now we are entertaining a large group of young coyotes. Last years group seemed to enjoy running across the tops of wire cages covered with shade cloth. If all goes as planned today, the new planting of young lettuce plants will be protected from the sun by our version of a coyote trampoline. Coyotes are fascinating creatures, but not if they are too close.
Recent local news stories report interactions between people and coyotes. So far the coyotes seem most interested in the people's pets. DEC warnings include advice to avoid eye contact with coyotes and to walk away resisting the temptation to look over your shoulder to see if you are being followed. Nowhere do they suggest going outside with a camera to record the visit. Previously, the DEC informed us that they would trap and relocate our coyotes if we could prove that they had eaten neighbor's pet. Just how does one get pictures of that.
My actual plan is to return outside with a portable CD player. Perhaps the music will alert the coyotes of my presence.