Learn to Coexist/Love the Beautiful Songdog | Coyote Facts

I didn’t write this and I can’t find the author to cite, but here’s one of the best posts I’ve seen about coyotes that’s worth reading and sharing:

“We humans have a strange urge to create monsters. For many, it’s not enough to believe in predators that hunt prey. We have to also project strange, sinister, and even supernatural forces onto the creatures who share our planet.

Since the beginning of time, we’ve created and exaggerated stories of dragons that abduct maidens, giant eagles that grab children, the Big Bad Wolf who pretends to be a sheep or a grandmother. The most modern version of these myths involves none other than the coyote: a 25-pound omnivore often seen in the suburbs, where it eats a diet containing mostly rodents.

You’ve likely heard about how coyotes are vicious beasts who come up with complex, cunning plans to befriend innocent dogs. When the dog thinks it has made a friend— as the legend says— the coyote will lead it back to a den, where a large pack of vicious coyotes leap upon the dog and eat it.No matter how many times you’ve heard a version of this story, it’s not true.

Coyotes do not live or hunt in large packs.

A coyote family usually includes just one pair of adults and their young of the year. While the family does occasionally work together to hunt, they usually prefer to hunt alone, and they never hunt in the large groups of 10, 20, or 30 animals that many claim to have witnessed.

While coyotes are extremely intelligent animals, their minds don’t work like human minds. They don’t develop complex plans for the future, and they don’t have a theory of mind— the ability to conceptualize and predict another animal’s thoughts and perceptions— in the same way that humans do.

A coyote simply isn’t capable of “lying” to a dog by pretending to be its friend or developing a plan to lead it into a trap. Like many other myths, the story about the coyote luring a dog to its death probably started as a misunderstanding.

Coyotes and domestic dogs are very close relatives, so coyotes have been known to sometimes approach them socially. That can include the kind of bowing and tail-wagging that we all know means, “Be my friend!” in dog language.

When a family of coyotes is heard singing and yipping later, the same people who witnessed the coyotes approaching dogs might mistake them for a pack ready to hunt. Coyotes use rapidly rising and falling notes fo create an auditory illusion, which makes a pair or trio of coyotes sound like a large pack, so it’s easy to be intimidated by the sound.

But just because coyotes are singing doesn’t mean they’re killing a dog or making sinister plans: it just means they’re a family and they’re together.With all that said, coyotes are opportunists, and like any other predator, they will eat whatever prey is available if they’re hungry enough. A small dog, especially a toy breed, may be hunted by a coyote. This is one of many reasons that small dogs should not be left outside unattended, particularly at dawn and dusk. Although coyotes aren’t known to target larger dogs as prey, they will fight with a dog if provoked, and both the dog and coyote can be injured or killed. Responsible pet owners should always take steps to prevent these incidents.

Lying, deception, and complicated, evil plans are human traits, not coyote traits. There’s no need to project the flaws of our own species onto our wild neighbors or to assume the worst of a coyote’s friendly or confused behavior.

We need to understand and coexist with our wildlife, not to fear them.”

Another Critter Visit; Preparing for the Covid Booster

Another critter somehow got in the house and spoke to me all night, maybe to reassure me that I won’t have a similar allergic reaction to the Covid booster I’m getting tomorrow morning that I had for the first vaccine. Honestly, it was kind of scary and I’m not looking forward to a repeat performance.

This time it was a cicada. I’ve heard them before in the garage, but I’ve never had one in the house, chirping ALL NIGHT LONG like a worn out smoke alarm battery.

Of course I had to research it…

Cicadas, for many, represent personal change, renewal, rebirth, and transformation. OK, that’s positive; good to know.

The cicada sings by contracting the internal tymbal muscles. This causes the membranes to buckle inward, producing a distinct sound. When these muscles relax, the tymbals pop back to their original position. Male cicadas in the same brood will stick together when calling in order to increase the total volume of noise.

California cicadas aren’t destructive creatures like the Brood X variety, but having one in the house is REALLY annoying!

Cicada appeared over 200 million years ago, all over the world in temperate to tropical climates.

A baby Cicada, called a nymph, remains in underground regions often near trees, waiting until its ready for birth. The pause that occurs before awakening doesn’t seem unusual until you learn the waiting period ranges anywhere from one year to seventeen! Because of this, Cicada became a symbol of immortality, resurrection, spiritual ecstasy, synchronicity, harmony with the Universe, and clever strategy.

The Greeks found themselves fascinated by the Cicada, believing it was sacred to Apollo and Dionysus. Aristotle littered various writing with Cicada meanings, focusing on the topics of rebirth and eternal life. In one of Plato’s dialogues, he and Socrates sit among the Cicada for deep, metaphorical discussion with a strong musical motif. Socrates muses, saying the Cicada are local nymph-like spirits who inhabit the land and sing. Their canticle includes stories of Pan and other Nature Gods filled with joy. The Cicada chorus renders inspiration to people with an ear to hear and even inspires love with lyrical prowess.

Could a cicada be your spirit animal? When the cicada comes into your awareness as a spirit animal, a time of emergence is at hand. You can no longer hide underground or sit on life’s sidelines. It’s time to stand up and work on self-development.

The cicada spirit animal hums to you about the past, metamorphosis, and changes yet to come. It is time for shaking off the restrictions you’ve put on yourself (or imposed by others). Cicada signals shedding your old skin so you can stretch in the way you express yourself. The process will seem a little uncomfortable at first. Examining elements of your past so you understand how they hold you back isn’t easy and requires a lot of honesty. Once you release old ways like the cicada, however, you re-emerge into life and blossom.
https://d2605da9b070c6b91e40be2ab2e53847.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

Cicada spirit animal challenges you to work on your communication skills while you walk with it. You need to find your true voice.

Whether the  cicada appears in dreams, visions, waking life or synchronicities, it is a sign and message that you are elevating. The cicada represents illumination, empowerment, insight, breaking through, and having a sense of humor with leaving others to figure out their own spiritual means. You are in this life because you are being entrusted to learn what is necessary for you. Forgive others, let them go so that whatever you do not tolerate, they can be that with those who do. You are not responsible for them. https://www.powerfulmystic8.com/sacred-spirit-shaman-blog/2018/6/27/shamanic-dream-symbols-cicada-bug

Thank goodness for Google!

I’m forcing a lot of hydration today to hopefully forestall another allergic reaction to the vaccine, but I anticipate a high fever and headache is in the future for me after that. My immune system is very sensitive to all vaccines. No crystal ball needed.

Bunny Love

I’m writing this post from the dentist’s office where I’m waiting for the lidocaine to take effect. This time it’s merely to replace the temporary crowns with the permanent ones, but I have time to share a couple of photos from yesterday.

Happy October 1 from a couple of my bunnies.

They LOVE watermelon!

Reflections: Princess Rosebud Random Facts Revealed

I’ve been asked to share a little bit about who I am, so here ya go! I had to have three old crowns replaced this morning and while I’m recovering from the lidocaine numbness, I thought I’d string together random facts about me. Sadly, those aren’t the kind of crowns I’d prefer to wear but I guess I can say that I am now really and truly royal.

Why Princess Rosebud? I’m named after my paternal grandmother, a Jewish tradition, and her name was Rose. My dad started calling me Rosebud; other people began to refer to me as Princess (for obvious reasons), and thus Princess Rosebud was born. When my Angel Kids call me Grandma Princess Rosebud, it makes me laugh A LOT.

I grew up in Detroit and moved to SoCal during high school. I was a year younger than my classmates because I used to be SUPER smart and skipped a grade. However, that brainy-ness wore off fairly early, I’m sad to say. Since my dad wanted me to become a lawyer like he was or a doctor, I’m sure he would be slightly disappointed, but I’d still be his Rosebud, no matter what.

I don’t remember much about my high school years because I left early every day to intern at the Old Globe Theatre and to take ballet classes. I don’t think I went to a single football game, although I attended senior prom. As I posted a few months ago, I recently reconnected with a high school classmate who reminded me of the time we attended a Doors concert and I jumped on the stage. Hand to heart I didn’t remember one detail about that evening even though there are several newspaper accounts. As introverted as I am most of the time, getting close to Jim Morrison was the catalyst I needed to step outside of my natural tendencies.

Thanks to https://marthakennedy.blog/, I recalled a memory of the Old Globe. I interned mostly in the costume department where I learned the invaluable skill of sewing a breakaway sleeve for fight scenes. A few years later, I auditioned for a production of Chekhov’s The Seagull. It went so well that the director (famous Craig Noel) old me to keep going after I had finished a couple of paragraphs. The room was silent as I continued, and I was shocked to receive resounding applause. I didn’t get the job, though, but it was my best audition. I ALMOST showed up the following year to audition for Equus until I learned the role involved nudity and I couldn’t do it.

I stopped eating all meat of any kind in my junior year of high school. It took a bit longer to completely remove dairy and fish, but that happened, too. Right now in my refrigerator, all you’ll find is vegan pesto, tofu, mushrooms, and a fresh batch of veggie lentil soup. Avocados are a staple too, I eat one every day for the good fat.

I’ve always loved wolves and have no idea WHY since Detroit is the last place in the world you’d find one. There are wolves on Isle Royale, but I’ve never been there. According to a shamanic practitioner, I was actually a wolf in a former life, so that explains the connection. I like that scenario. Being outdoors with nature is where I’m happiest; tall buildings and concrete are disorienting and cause me a lot of anxiety so I tend to avoid the big city.

I went to college here, majored in literature, creative writing, and entered the elementary education teaching program, then I decided I wanted to be a famous movie star or director or something in show biz and switched my master’s focus to drama and production.

I thought about emigrating to New Zealand ‘cos I love to ski, but there was (and still is) a really long quarantine process for dogs so I didn’t follow through on that. I’ve always had a Border Collie in my life, at times along with a rescued wolfdog and other assorted cats and dogs.

After being cast in a few films and a stint as a casting assistant, I abandoned my Hollywood dreams because of a particularly scary and ugly casting director experience. Thank goodness I was saved before anything happened. Think along the lines of Harvey Weinstein…WHEW.

I interned at a local TV news station but didn’t enjoy it—a lot goes on behind the scenes and it’s way too competitive for me, but I learned a bit about investigative journalism. Mostly, I found it personally unsavory to shove a microphone in a mom’s face who had lost her son to a senseless street murder and ask her how she was feeling about it all…Not my cup of tea. I refer to those types of reporters as vultures…

A couple years later, I put all my effort, time, and attention into growing, birthing, and being mom to the original Angel Boy, still dipping my toe into local politics and passion projects from time to time, and always always defending and protecting and fighting for the rights of wolves and coyotes to exist.

Five years ago AB finally figured out the only way to deflect this Drone Mom is to have a baby (all about me, see how I do that?) which was a total success for him because my unparalleled devotion and obsessive attention is now laser focused on the Angel Kids, a win-win for us all.

As socially introverted as I am most of the time, I easily speak to huge crowds as I did when I testified in Sacramento to save wolves or stir up the masses at a packed city council meeting (I’m famous for that) or even to meet and speak with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. I experience no fear at all in those situations but I’m most comfortable talking to my coyotes or my tomatoes or sitting on the floor discussing rainbows and kitty cakes with my Angel Kids. I can still hear T…”Grandma, why do I see a green bit? Is there any kale in here?” (Heehee, yes there’s probably always kale in everything I prepare, from muffins to smoothies.)

I literally never take a selfie but I was FaceTiming last evening with the fam and my son uncharacteristically told me I looked pretty which he NEVER does (AND he didn’t even have ulterior motives this time) so I had to snap a quick pic to see what he was looking at.

His exact words were, “Why are you all dressed up?” I wasn’t at all dressed up, but I can see his point since I emulate Cinderella most of the time. If I’m not scrubbing the floor or standing at the stove, what else could I be doing?

FUNNY!

Here I am. No filter and my necklaces are all tangled up. Straight-ish or curly, what do you think? Since I was at the dentist for such a long time, I showed him these pics and he liked the curly one. Random market research haha.

Lothario the Lounge Lizard

My Great Basin Fence lizard looks quite suave, doesn’t he?

I wonder if he’s lounging around waiting for his sweetheart to show up.

Where The Wild Things Are…

My house is in a residential area but the upper backyard is part of a natural animal corridor. I set up a wildlife camera to capture video of coyotes, raccoons, possums, and even the occasional bobcat and mountain lion.

We have owls and hawks too, and every so often I’ll find a bunny or a rat that tells the story of predator versus prey.

Last night was different…

I was watching Red Rock on Amazon Prime because there’s literally nothing else — it’s a show about Irish cops and feuding families — when I heard a scream outside. It was a sustained and distinctive sound of distress and I’m sure it wasn’t a human and I’m sure it wasn’t a cat. I’ve heard the scream of a bobcat too, and it wasn’t that, either. (That sounds like a shrill woman.)

I think it was a rabbit because they also scream when they’ve been hunted by a predator and I have a lot of bunnies around here. A couple days ago I counted five of them on the lawn at the same time.

“The sound of a rabbit screaming will send chills down your spine for two reasons. First, it sounds eerily close to a terrified child. Second, rabbits only scream when a predator is chasing them down or they are dying. It is never a false alarm when a rabbit screams.”https://www.thesprucepets.com/sounds-that-rabbits-make-1835745

All the nearby dogs started to bark like crazy and there was the sound of a scuffle. I turned on the deck lights and got out my spotlight but saw nothing.

This morning I went out to search for any signs of an injured animal or fur or any indication about what had taken place, but I didn’t find a thing. As sad as it is, we must learn to co-exist with wild creatures. They have to eat, too, and bunnies and rats make up most of their diet. This was first their home and we need to respect them. Learn more at Project Coyote.

Later on, I’ll do a more thorough search but right now I’m on my own hunt for the perfect gifts for a little girl who will be two in a couple of weeks. If only Chanel had a kids line of organic lotions and potions!

OMG What Just Happened

T found this caterpillar (pretty sure it’s a Monarch) on a plant, got a box and made a home for it with leaves and flowers to eat.

For an entire day, he referred to it as his pet and was constantly checking on its welfare.

“I love him so much, he’s beautiful.”

Late afternoon, he chose to release it under a shady plant because he thought it would have access to a fresher food source.

With me by his side, we picked a plant we both agreed would be tasty.

No sooner than he put it down and we watched it crawl away than a lizard ran over, grabbed it in his mouth and swallowed it.

We both gasped in horror as the realization of what occurred fully blossomed in our minds. It happened so fast and took us a moment to actually process what we saw.

T, sitting cross-legged on the ground, lowered his head and began to sob in genuine lament, tears staining his face and dripping down his chin.

“WHY, Grandma, why?” He said, “I loved my pet, why did the lizard eat him, why?”

Hearing T cry, Dad came out, I told him what happened, and he gathered T in his arms to comfort him as we gently tried to explain how nature works. His sadness broke our hearts, but I’m so proud of the compassionate way his dad helped him work through these huge emotions.

“I hate lizards. I’m going to hurt them.” Although retaliation was his first solution; it’s obviously not one he would be allowed to do!

After a while, and after a mango/black cherry ice cream cone (thank goodness I had made a double batch), he started to calm down and recover his normally cheery disposition.

He’s an extremely sensitive child and this was his first experience with the raw and gritty side of how animals live and survive.

I found two more caterpillars for him (whew) and this time we didn’t release them and they’re still here in his Spiderman bucket, gnawing their way through leaf after leaf.

He doesn’t know they’re only tomato hornworms and that’s going to be our little secret, right?

When Doves Cry: Life and Death

**This is so strange. I only published this post today, June 26, but it shows that it was published on the 24th, so I am RE-writing and posting again. Very odd WordPress, very odd.

We had a bit of rain, just a few drops, definitely not the kind of rain we need here in the Southwest, but I think my veggie garden was grateful for it.

When I went outside to check on the status of baby lettuce seedlings, I noticed a Monarch butterfly entangled in the netting surrounding the garden. I’ve been forced to use the barrier to keep out squirrels and rats and bunnies. There are plenty of other things in the garden those guys can eat, so I don’t feel too bad about restricting them from my yummy greens.

Carefully, I removed the netting from those delicate wings.

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After flying off, s/he returned with a mate and they circled my head a few times as if to thank me. “You’re welcome, guys! I was glad to help.”

Later that afternoon, right before dusk, I went for a walk. There were still beautiful clouds in the sky and I was thinking happy thoughts about the butterflies.

Suddenly, before I could even react, several things happened at once. A white van was driving down the street faster than the twenty-five mile an hour speed limit. A dove flew low across the street, left to right. (Yup, you can see where this is going.) The driver MUST have seen the bird, I’m sure of it.

Without slowing down or trying to avoid the imminent impact, the van ran into the bird, and to make it even more horrific, the back tires finished the slaughter. There were no other cars on the road; simply slowing down would have avoided it completely.

It doesn’t matter to me that there was nothing I could have done to prevent this tragedy. I ran out into the street to see if I needed to take the bird to a vet, but it was too late. Too late. I crouched down on my knees over the little dove almost in shock at the massive destruction the van did to his body. I took a photo because I wanted to remember the poor dear and honor his/her life, but it’s too gruesome to post and I feel it would be disrespectful to the innocent creature.

The bird was probably on his way home, and there might have been nesting babies that won’t be fed and won’t survive all because of the actions of one unaware or uncaring human. What if it was one of the doves I just wrote about that often visit me in the garden? How incredibly sad.

Well, that stripped me of the joy of saving a butterfly, that’s for sure. I’m a fixer and a helper. It’s a tough lesson for me to comprehend that sometimes things can be so terribly damaged that they can’t be mended or put back together, like this poor little bird who was beyond repair.

This made me think of Prince. When doves cry, so do I.



Dove Love

In my garden, this Mourning Dove family and I peacefully co-exist.

According to All About Birds, this is a graceful, slender-tailed, small-headed dove that’s common across the continent. Mourning Doves perch on telephone wires and forage for seeds on the ground; their flight is fast and bullet straight. Their soft, drawn-out calls sound like laments. When taking off, their wings make a sharp whistling or whinnying.

However, this fact is really upsetting to me: Mourning Doves are the most frequently hunted species in North America. Who could possibly want to murder these gentle creatures? Once again, humans suck.