Saturday, June 4, 2011

Coyote Sandwich

This is a sandwich post, wedged between returning from a visit to my parents two days ago, and the arrival of guests from Nelson today. That left one day to grocery shop and get caught up on stuff around the house. I have never been able to figure out how being gone for just four days can result in almost the same amount of chaos and neglect that being away for a couple of weeks does. If you can shed some light on this mystery I would really appreciate it.

In the midst of playing catch-up yesterday I did manage to find time for a walk out in the hills. I decided to take my camera, so put it in a small pack and headed out with my sturdy walking stick in hand. I was heading back along the trail when the podcast I was listening to finished. I decided to stop walking while I searched for another one. It only took a few seconds and I was ready to head off again. I looked up and on the trail, not more than 10 meters in front of me, a coyote was crossing the path. Most coyotes tend to have a scrawny, mangy look about them. Not this one. It was huge and had a beautiful, shiny coat of hair.

I was not afraid. I grew up on a farm in northern Idaho and we were surrounded by coyotes. Almost every night I would go to sleep listening to their haunting call. It is one of the things I enjoy about where we live here in Kamloops. Quite often at night I can hear the coyotes yipping away and it instantly brings back memories of my childhood. It is like they are singing me a lullaby to put me to sleep.

I might not have been afraid, but I was cautious. If it had been a pack of coyotes I would have felt differently, but this was just one lone canine who happened to be sharing the same space as me. Two thoughts went through my mind. The first was concern for my iPod Touch. If the coyote showed signs of aggression I was worried that my iPod might fall off and get damaged. And yes, that really is the first thought that went through my mind.

I quickly opened my pack and tossed my iPod in. My next thought was that it would be great if I could get a picture of the coyote for my blog. I grabbed my camera out of the pack, but by the time I got it turned on the coyote was heading off into the hills.

I will keep up my attempts to get some good wildlife pictures on my walks, but I think I might have to give up listening to my iPod when I am out on the trail. Had I not stopped to switch podcasts I would have run right into this coyote. There is no way I would have heard it approaching.

7 comments:

  1. Living in cougar country, as I do, I never listen to music while out walking in the woods.

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  2. Wow, you were lucky. Whenever I visit our local zoo I enjoy visiting the cheetahs, but it's disturbing the way they look at me as if I'm lunch. I can imagine a pack of coyotes doing the same thing--but with no fence between you and them. I've never seen a coyote in person, but I do like the sounds they make.

    PS - It's not nearly as romantic sounding, but for me it was the sound of a long, slow train (and the sound of its whistle off in the distance--not right behind out house) going past our house at night that helped lull me to sleep.

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  3. "behind our house" not "behind out house" =)

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  4. @kate - We have cougars too, although not too many. If I think too much about them when I am out walking I can feel my spine start to tingle and I find myself glancing over my shoulder every few minutes. You are wise to not listen to music.

    @Ric - A pack of coyotes is a very different thing than a lone coyote. There have been several incidents in our neighbourhood with coyote/people encounters and they all involved packs. I like the sound of trains at night too. It is a very good comparison.

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  5. The coyotes never seem to come into town. We've had cougars show up in town several times. Oh, and moose.

    I love seeing wildlife doing their thing. It's interesting to watch them living their own lives and doing what they want to do.

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  6. I don't trust coyotes at all, but maybe a lone one isn't so bad. I have heard that coyotes are more aggressive towards humans than they used to be. I think they are losing their fear of us.

    mmm.. For some reason I can't see the pic you posted.

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  7. Take care is all I have to say. I think I'm a more urban person.

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