Wild as in wildlife. Naturally, the coyote comes after the roadrunner.
Coyote in mixed media. Done with pen and ink, and watercolor.
I enjoy seeing wild coyotes and I see them often. As a dog lover, I’m sympathetic toward them. On the flip side I have no illusions about their predator nature and I keep an eye out for our pets and livestock.
This coyote was just west of the house. She came cruising through and posed very politely.
Ranchers have to protect their livestock because it’s their livelihood. Coyotes have to hunt because it’s their livelihood. It’s a tough reality for coyotes and ranchers alike. All part of the harsh balance of nature.
Something caught my attention, while cruising around the North end of the log decks. Lots of animals were running in the hay field. The mill property has a couple hundred acres of hay fields and ponds on the North end of the log yard. Each afternoon a large herd of deer comes into the fields to graze. This morning, they were already in the field and running all over the place. This is odd behavior for the deer because they weren’t leaving. They usually wander randomly around the field feeding. If anyone gets too close they just leave the field for the cover of the nearby Valley Oaks. This time they were running helter skelter around the field, but not leaving. I was about a quarter mile away and could not discern what was going on. I pulled out my camera and zoomed in on the action. Then I saw the three coyotes. This is what happened next.
Enjoying the sunny morning, the deer placidly graze. They seem unconcerned about anything going on around them.
Moving in on the deer herd, this coyote was intent on having venison for breafast.
The coyotes non-chalantly move closer and closer to the herd.
The big buck spots the sneaky coyotes.
Two does and the big buck aren’t going to tolerate the coyotes stalking the herd.
This brave doe takes the lead in dealing with the interlopers.
The two does surround the lead coyote. The coyote was not expecting this.
The second coyote decides not to stick around. No loyalty amoung coyotes.
The coyote is having second thoughts and a venison meal.
Deciding it isn’t worth it the coyotes back off.
No venison today for this coyote.
Perhaps a nice field mouse would be good instead.
With the threat dealt with, the herd goes back to a leisurely breakfast.
I was in the concrete jungle of San Francisco today. It was a cool gray day with lots and lots of folks. I looked at the dense pack living conditions of the big city and I missed all the space I have in my normal life. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I understand a lot of people love living in the city. Different strokes for different folks and all of that. However, a trip to SF makes me appreciate my daily contact with nature. At my home and at my work. It is a blessing to be sure. It seems to me that the people in the big cities must feel disconnected from nature in a way that makes a person want to protect, treasure and guard it. I think that experiencing it in this way doesn’t leave many people with a true understanding of nature. At a very basic level I wish that everyone had to go out hunt, kill, clean, cook and eat an animal. Honestly I believe people would have a greater appreciation of their daily sustenance.
Mandrill at the San Francisco Zoo.
In my firefighter days, many years ago, I worked with a fellow from SF. He had never left the city before to spend any meaningful time in a rural environment. He was a very capable guy and after we left our fire training camp I was stationed in Redding and he in Ogo. Ogo was a fire station West of Redding and was well known for it’s great population of rattlesnakes. A few days later, both our crews responded to the same fire. He seemed a little tired, but otherwise in good spirits. About two weeks later the Redding crew was on a fire with the Ogo crew again, but I didn’t see my friend. I ask about him. His other crew members told me he hadn’t been sleeping well because it was too quiet at night, but when the coyotes would howl in the middle of the night he would fly out of bed in a panic. After about ten days he couldn’t take it anymore. He packed up and went home. I never saw him again and the old Ogo Fire Station is long gone. He never took the time to get comfortable in that setting. It was sad, but maybe I would have trouble making the same adjustment to living in the city.
I saw this log truck rolling through the Bay Area. Just a little reminder of where wood comes from.
I wish folks from the cities in California trusted our land managers more. The people I work with love nature as much as anyone and take great pride in the job they do. Instead, in a time when the science and technology have reached a point that we can accomplish amazing things in the woods, politically we are forced to do a more and more mediocre job by trying to create conditions where no one can make a mistake.
Unfortunately, the desire protect the natural environment by stopping land management is resulting in loving our forest to death. Death by uncontrollable fires and bark beetle epidemics. People need to view land management as a tool to improve our forests where people are part of this ecosystem and not as an obstacle to a healthy forest.