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.”

Twisty Cucumber Vine

Here’s the last of the summer cucumbers trained to climb up and around this singular post that seems to have the gigantic job of holding up most of the second story. Or it’s the third story, cos I can’t really figure out how this tri-level house works.

We had a HUGE thunder and lightening and rainstorm last night and my garden is SO happy. Fingers crossed this means we might have a rainy year and end the drought.

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!

Inner and Outer Beauty

Here’s an update regarding the ongoing saga of my injuries: my back and toe are much better, but I seem to have a stress fracture of one of the little bones on top of my foot. I admire my consistency, however, because all of this is on my LEFT side.

This time the stupidity was caused by my sad attempts to remember Swan Lake choreography and practice fouettes, which I haven’t done in FOREVER. I wasn’t wearing pointe shoes or even soft ballet shoes; I was barefoot on a hard tile floor. Like I said, STUPID.

Why Swan Lake? Well, the last time I saw my Angel Kids, we were in the car when Swan Lake came on the radio. I yelled out, ” That’s SWAN LAKE!” T asked me what that was and I explained the story of the dance to him while we were listening. When the music gets to the part where the court jester does those incredible gravity defying grand jetes and double split cabrioles, I told him that it takes a very athletic, very talented dancer to jump like that, and he was intrigued.

I promised I’d take him to see Swan Lake as soon as it came to town. When we got home, he said to Siri, “Play Swan Lake” and then he sat on the sofa and became lost in the beauty of Tchaikovsky.

Anyway, that’s how I hurt my foot.

I can’t really put any weight on it, so I’m once again reclining on the sofa with my everpresent ice pack on yet another part of my little body.

C’est la vie! No one to blame but myself. I am NOT and never was Margot Fonteyn lol (ballet snob reference).

Here’s a few photos from inside and outside as I hobble around.

I stopped to admire the sun shining brightly on these indoor plants. I couldn’t capture the whole wall in one photo, but there’s a matching cabinet to the right. It’s a very pretty room.

Meet my special bunny friend. He’s slightly lighter in color than the rest of the family and he comes out more during the day than the others. This was taken right outside my bedroom window. Good morning, brave little one!

Because of relentless RATS, I had to pick these strawberries just before they were 100% ripe to save them from being half eaten and discarded.

I am reminded of a starfish with this spider lily. What a perfectly lovely specimen!

Check this out; it’s not a ballet but it’s danced by the great danseur, Sergei Polunin, to Hozier’s “Take Me To Church”. Choreography by Jade Hale-Christofi. (In 2010, at the age of nineteen, Polunin became the Royal Ballet’s youngest ever principal dancer). He is truly amazing as an artist, but I read things about him PERSONALLY that aren’t all that savory in regards to some homophobic and sexist Instagram posts, so his invitation to perform in the Paris Opéra Ballet‘s performance of Swan Lake was revoked.

Blooming Yucca

This very tall yucca is my upper garden overlooking the path used by coyotes.

Did you know that most of the yucca plant is edible?

Some people are brave enough to eat that asparagus-looking stalk. Native American tribes used pretty much every part of the plant. They ate the flowers, stalks, and fruits, used the fibrous, spiky leaves for cordage, and mashed the pulpy root with water for soap and shampoo.

I haven’t tried any recipes with yucca flowers, but I bet it tastes something like squash blossoms.

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.

Nothing Rhymes with Orange

Is it true? Is there no word that rhymes with orange? Here’s what I found…

“Orange has almost no perfect rhymes. The only word in the 20-volume historical Oxford English Dictionary that rhymes with orange is sporange, a very rare alternative form of sporangium (a botanical term for a part of a fern or similar plant).” Lexicohttps://www.lexico.com

Anyway, here’s an orange zinnia.

I had planted a whole row but my garden bunnies LOVE zinnia flowers. I watched them eat every single one EXCEPT for this plant.

Photos taken at different times of the day; intense color versus sort of washed out by the sun.

Zinnias

Zinnias, stout and stiff,
Stand no nonsense: their colors
Stare, their leaves
Grow straight out, their petals
Jut like clipped cardboard,
Round, in neat flat rings.

Even cut and bunched,
Arranged to please us
In the house, in water, they
Will hardly wilt—I know
Someone like zinnias; I wish
I were like zinnias.

–Valerie Worth

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!

Puget Sound Photos

Driving down the hill:

The view from Sunset Hill park overlooking the marina. How amazing to be in walking distance of this beauty.

Such a beautiful, warm picture perfect day!

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?