Summer is on its way out though there is a bit more warm weather remaining. The calendar says we are midway through August yet September looks to be a carbon copy of these past few day’s temperatures. Fortunately, this area has began receiving moisture as “Monsoon” type rain which uplifts the dry hot desert making it more livable for humans. The amazing New Mexico pale orange / purple / rust colored sunsets are growing shorter and the cooler evenings more enjoyable making an evening libation shared with friends taste all the better. The high desert flora; mesquite, cactus, and ocotillo are past their maximum bloom but still manage to draw honey bees and hummingbirds looking for nature’s sweet offerings. The Coyotes, less timid now, make frequent trips past my back gate in their daily quest for food. On this day one pauses to see if any bothersome humans are nearby. Accustomed to these regular forays I cast a quick glance to the gate and catch the Coyote checking on us. He is on his way before I can call out his presence to the group, slinking off through the underbrush beyond the little hill and down into the arroyo. The lone Coyote is gone, nothing but a surreal image blending into the rays of the setting sun. However, not before my trail camera has captured his photograph.
Reports of Coyote encounters continue from coast to coast and border to border, sightings occurring round the clock. Some reports even contain cell phone photographs of the offending Coyote. Many of the reports from journalist are only looking to help fill space while others do their research and offer their readers legitimate insight into the life of a Coyote. What is missing are the reported sightings from ranchers and farmers – why don’t they have the same level of Coyote nuisance as their urban counterparts? Ranchers and farmers don’t complain about these problems, they fix the problem and I don’t mean neutering either! Urban dwellers typically don’t have the flexibility their rural cousins can exert toward Coyote resolution. Most media guidance suggest residents follow the normal routines for varmint control, keep a clean yard in and around the home. When confronted by a Coyote attempt to scare them off says many of the reports being submitted by the national and local media. The reports that provide sound guidance are usually the ones that include an interview with a local government wildlife agency, the experts know how to prevent varmint encounters and resultant interactions. What continues to happen and which will defeat all attempts toward peaceful varmint eradication are those well meaning but misguided individuals that feed the wildlife. Coyote sightings / encounters will continue thanks in large part to those who drop a handful of dog food on trails while hiking or encourage Coyotes to drink from their golf course water cups. Encouraging wild life to accept close proximity to humans is detrimental to all concerned be it Coyotes or Grizzly Bears!
An interesting side note here – In today’s email there appeared a notice from the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish detailing their upcoming public meeting to be held in Albuquerque. The first item on the agenda is “Wildlife Complaints.” Coyotes are not the only urban problem! More and more feral hogs are ripping through farms and home owner lawns lying adjacent to the Rio Grande River. Depending on the reader’s locality determines which species (or all) of wildlife is wreaking havoc with the reader’s environment. Every one is a stakeholder in this endeavor! Each and every one has a responsibility to pay attention to their surroundings.
In a similar parallel – two footed predators prey on those whose headphones prevent the wearer from hearing the approaching attack. Folks just walking down the street while watching a video have been killed as they blindly walk into traffic. Lack of attention is not an excuse! Where is this going you might ask? Walking out the front door look around the yard or street. What do you see? Same old stuff that has been lying around for awhile? Was that hamburger bag laying on the street chewed up this morning? New folks showing up in the neighborhood? If the flower bed has been torn up what caused it? What was that critter darting around the corner just now? Know your surroundings, get to know your neighbors and finally – pick up anything that might represent food to paws, claws and talons. Take off the headphones, put the cell-phone in your pocket and enjoy your surroundings. You might just catch a glimpse of a Coyote!
I appreciate your stopping by to read about Coyotes and other things. Have a great week and remember –
Stay tuned, there is more to come on the Coyote Cam.