Thursday, May 21, 2009

Coyote sighting

Those of you who live out west are used to seeing and hearing these beautiful creatures, but they've only taken up residence here in the Appalachians recently and have now become a nusiance in some places. For the last 4-5 years I could hear them on summer nights sounding just like what you hear in the old cowboy movies. An eerie sound for someone not used to it. In the last two years I've had sightings near my house on several occasions. Yesterday morning, abtou 6:45, I was out taking covers off my plants. (We had a frost and I had to cover as much of my garden as I could.) I looked up and there was a young female staring at me from about 20 feet away. She turned, looked over her shoulder at me, and by the time I blinked my eyes she was gone. I think they're shape-shifters, too.

Have you read Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver? It takes place in the southern Appalachians and one thread of the story is about a reclusive wildlife biologist who is studying a den of coyotes. The prose is beautiful and she explains the need for large predators in our ecological system. My neighbors are afraid for their cattle and horses, but it's highly unusual for coyotes to take down prey that large, especially when we're over run with rabbits, squirrels and ground hogs. I'm still not sure how I feel about them being here, but for the most part I'm glad. But, my cat stays in at night!

2 comments:

Jenny Williams said...

Welcome to Blogger Zoe! I feel the same way - it's very hard to believe that anyone is interested in what I have to say. So it's very hard for me to keep up with. I hope it's easier for you!
And about the coyotes - a fiber artist friend in Wyoming raises llamas and they have to be very careful about leaving them out at night with the coyotes around, especially the babies. With a group, they can take down bigger prey.
Jenny

Zoe said...

I didn't say it was impossible, just not probable. According to the websites I've read, they usually hunt alone and only in groups when prey is scarce.