Coyote came to visit this morning. Didn’t stay. I was sitting at the kitchen table, looking out the glass door, watching birds dashing around the feeders when I saw a movement beyond the fence. Something coming up from the tangle of oak brush, small pinion trees and a juniper or two, thought it was a deer but realized it was small, too small for that. Coyote materialized, strolled over to the fence and stopped, checking the air for scent, looking around. It’s late winter here, the calendar has no idea, Coyote looked well-fed, the greys, browns, tans and russets of its coat offering no camoflage in the snow. The birds ignored the dog by the gate.
Now this fence, unfinished, is aspirational, we want to keep the deer out of our back “yard” so the plants we try to grow will have a chance. Of course, even if the fence does its job there are still the chipmunks, rock squirrels, pocket gophers and occasional wood rat that take their share.
Coyote continued on around the fence, stopped again to check out the area and proceeded on through a straggle of oaks, continuing on with that distance eating lope they have, smooth and seemingly effortless, reached down and snapped up a mouthful of the fresh snow that had fallen the night before. Coyote was obviously on the way to somewhere else, heading on to the north, disappeared over the ridge.
I went out a little later to relish the trackway Coyote left in the snow. Tracking is so much easier when you can see the tracks. There they were, hind foot placed precisly in the track of the front foot, giving that signature single track trail, looking like maybe something on two legs had passed that way. I followed a short distance, just walking with Coyote, when at the dirt road in front of our place I discovered another set of coyote tracks. Coyote crossed the slightly older tracks that were starting to melt out just a little bit, didn’t stop to check them out, probably knew who created them. Those older tracks, dirt of the road starting to show through the toe prints, came from the west, detoured a little way down our driveway, cruised back onto the road and continued on, over the hill to the east.
Coyote came to visit this morning. Didn’t stay.