“Palm Fruit, Digested Seeds and Mom”, by Charles Wood

Sometimes I see coyotes and other times I only see evidence they leave.  I photographed palm seed laden coyote scat several days ago.  I have been looking for palm fruit, both on the ground palm trees.  I haven’t been able to find any fruit, with one exception that doesn’t count:  Saturday I found coyote regurgitated palm fruit.  It was still moist.  Perhaps it was left to age a bit before taking it as a midnight snack.

Friday night at the Long Beach Recreation Park Dog Park, close to midnight, a coyote came up to the chain link fence to take a look at the dogs.  Its nose was right up against the fence, a very curious animal.  Two dogs rushed the fence and the coyote took off.  One of my friends mistook the coyote for a stray dog.  We had the pleasure of watching the coyote trot away, its movement and ears clearly not dog like.  The dog park is bordered by a public golf course and two busy major streets beyond which are thousands of homes.

Earlier on Friday, from the bridge that overlooks their field, I did get a photograph of Mom slyly spying on me.  She soon vanished into the dusk.

Saturday I returned in the late afternoon to my coyotes’ field.  I’ve a couple goals.  One is to get a picture of Mom going under a chain link fence’s gate to enter her field from the nature sanctuary.  The other is to find how many youngsters I can identify.  Had I the patience to remain at the bridge I might have photographed Mom scooting under that fence.  Instead I left for the river bank hoping to spot youngsters.  Just as I took a position on the river bank Mom arrived from the nature sanctuary.  It may be that she was waiting for me to leave the bridge before entering her field.  She plays the waiting game well.

She arrived in her field at a bad time. Out in the field I saw what looked like the carcass of a coyote.  Despite her being present I entered their field to get a closer look at what turned out to not be a carcass at all.  Fortunately my eyes and mind were playing tricks on me.  Unfortunately Mom rushed my leashed dog and me.  As usual she stopped short and made a scene about twenty yards from my over excited dog and me.  I couldn’t settle my dog down in time to photograph her displays.  When she finished she stood still and stared at us.  I was able to take a good shot.  On leaving, as is also typical, she yawned and after the yawn she licked her chops.  Dad also yawns and licks his chops during and/or after his displays.  His charges are often preceded by a good stretch and a yawn.  Perhaps those actions before the charge limber his body and jaws.  Afterwards the yawn and lick may disburse tensions.

Posting written by Charles Wood. Visit Charles Wood’s website for these and more coyote photos: Charles Wood. His work is copyrighted and may only be used with his explicit permission.

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