“Self Directed”, by Charles Wood

At twilight Monday I saw the larger of the two youngsters in my coyotes’ Los Angeles area field.  It was the third sighting over three consecutive days.  Each time she was apparently alone.  I watched her from the river bank on both Saturday and Sunday.  Both of those days she was in transit on her north-south dirt road.  Saturday I was with Holtz, my friend and her German Shepard.  The youngster came from the east, arrived at the north-south road and turned south. Upon spotting us, the youngster sat and stared until we left.  Sunday, before twilight, she came into view traveling north on the dirt road.  She saw Holtz and me standing on the river bank.  She seemed more relaxed.  After a few minutes she even pounced for a rodent, probed for it, but with no luck.  Eventually she headed north and took a dirt road to the east.

Monday Holtz and I arrived before twilight and stood on the dirt road looking south.  At twilight I saw her headed towards us on the that dirt road.  She stopped, stared straight at us, looked to her right and yawned.  She then came directly towards us, stopped about 100 feet away and marked.  She kept that distance, investigated the area around her and then headed west to stand atop a pile of large rocks.  She then trotted south, going past the road that heads east.  As we left I saw her quickly going east on that road, having doubled back to do so.

This young female is about nine months old.  A few months ago in similar encounters, accompanied by her mother and father, she didn’t seem to have a clue about how to handle Holtz and me.  At that time her parents behaved much as she did today.  Her parents were assertive, yet the youngster was either playing or scared and seeking safety either from her parents or from flight.  Monday she seemed as self-directed, assertive and purposed as an adult coyote.

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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