Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Nature Notes: Return of the Lone Wolf

OK, it's not really a wolf. It's a coyote, sort of a "wolf light". But he's here, and he's hunting mice in the back pasture, and I find that an amazing thing to see from my kitchen window.

Coyotes are considered nuisance animals in Indiana, which means they can be shot on sight any time of the year. But they are clever and secretive, and one mother can have as many as twelve in litter, so their numbers are actually growing.

Again, the photos aren't great - window glass, a screen, and considerable distance conspired to ruin the shots. Still, if you click them they get bigger and give a better view.

Coyotes are generally solitary, but they keep in touch with their kind by singing in the night. We rarely see them, though we often hear them howling and yammering to each other after dark. With the barred owls and frogs doing backup, it's a Symphony of the Weird that would do Stephen King proud.

The coyotes are feared and despised by most farmers and suburbanites because pets and small livestock can fall prey to them. And I do worry that Gatsby Cat will one day win his ongoing bid for freedom and end up as a coyote snack. Still, I love knowing that something so wild can still survive in our overdeveloped, tightly regulated world.

In Native American lore, the coyote is a central character, a trickster and a respected brother being. In one tradition, Coyote brings fire to mankind. That's worth a few chickens, I think.

In other news, winter is not going down without a fight. We have a dusting of snow today and freezing temperatures again, but it's the last gasp and we all know it.

Links in This Post:
* Living With the Wily Coyote
* How the Coyote Stole Fire
* Native American Lore

Click here to visit Michelle's site and see more Nature Notes.


Leora said...

You can't see the coyote right away - he looks like the surroundings. I can understand why farmers don't like them. I like seeing one in a photo!

Debbie said...

you have some great pictures here...i loved the deer. so glad i found you, i will be stopping bye frequently!!!!

Linda Myers said...

We live in a suburb of Seattle. In October, a coyote came through our neighborhood and dragged off one of my neighbor's chickens. They found the feathers in the city park.

Very adaptable creatures, coyotes.

Carver said...

Great shots of the coyotes. It's sad how little space so many wild animals have. I do understand though that it's an issue for farmers.

Vilisi@islandmusings said...

I watched a tv documentary just the other day that featured a debate over the introduction of the Canadian wolf into the wilds of Idaho. Some folks like farmers were not at all happy and its understandable where they're coming from.Others like conservationists were happy, as well as native tribes for whom the return of the wolf had cultural significance. Interesting, I thought.

Barb said...

I'm pleased you even had a camera handy when coyote visited - I usually don't! Great blog:)

MyMaracas said...

Leora, he does blend it. I couldn't see him unless he was moving.

Debbie, welcome! I'll stop by at your place,too. :-)

Linda, that is sad. It's difficult to protect chickens from all the predators that like to eat them. One of the reasons I decided not to try to keep them.

Carver, It is sad indeed. I have nightmare visions about a world of concrete as far as the eye can see.

MyMaracas said...

Vilisi, I would be torn about that too. Both sides have such a strong case, pro and con.

Barb, I keep it on the kitchen counter set to auto, because I never know what I'm going to see out that window.

KaHolly said...

I belive the coyote is still considered a main player in the Native American culture. They are getting very bad press in Cape Breton right now. Excellent post. ~karen

Crafty Green Poet said...

I agree its so wonderful to know that something as wild as coyotes can still exist in today's urbanised areas! I feel the same about our urban foxes!

Cat said...

Nature is beautiful and yes that includes the coyotes. You've caught my attention because I, a suburbanite have already had my cats sneak outside. I am almost happy it snowed again because the freeze has calmed the felines' spring fever. It has been in the news that bodies of deer have been found in our community ravaged by coyotes. Someone please whisper to my Soxxie and Jordan that it is not safe for them out there.

Rambling Woods said...

I've seen one walking by at night here too. I think there is a place for them, but some don't. Maybe if they were better educated about them... but nah..they still wouldn't listen... hope we warm up soon..still snow here in NY.. Michelle

EG Wow said...

We have a coyote problem too. AND wolves and coyotes are interbreeding so who knows what NEW animals we may have a lot of soon!

MONIKA said...