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Showing posts from January, 2013

Coyote Stories II

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(Continued from preceding post)

Like many mammals, coyotes like to play with things. The coyotes at the preserve not only liked to play with things but they had a playground in the field right in front of where their tunnel  through the brush opened onto the meadow.  And their playground was strewn with toys.  From somewhere they had, collected a very old plastic container that once held bar and chain oil.  Another favorite was a green soda pop bottle.  They also liked the plastic cap I placed over the shallow pvc well I had installed in one of the basins or ‘pans’  in the heart of the preserve.  I used the well to check the water depth in the shallow basins or pans that wander through the Preserve and the coyotes use the cap as a toy.  If I didn’t put it on securely I was likely to find it almost anywhere in the preserve with the tiny indentations of sharp little coyote teeth all around its perimeter.  (I tried to remember to put it on securely.)   
Another item that seemed to fascinat…

Coyote Stories I

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The coyote, Canis latrans has been as much a part of my family life as my brothers and my sister.  I spent my childhood in Southern California during and following the Second World War.  Early in my Middle School years my family relocated to the San Gabriel Valley at the base of the San Sierra Madre Mountains.  Things were much different in the LA Basin at that time.  There were fewer of us and much more open land.  From the back of our bright new post-war home to the base of the mountains were hundreds of acres of orange groves and thousands of acres of oak scrub and brush.  There were dove and quail, and rabbits and raptors.  There were also the coyotes.  I learned to listen for these little wolves and to watch for them along the sides of the dirt roads that, at that time, still crisscrossed the fields and orchards of Southern California.  During high school others things captured my attention, and imagination, and I didn't think so much about the coyotes.   But they were never …