‘Tis The Season, by Charles Wood

I ran into two coyotes Sunday in a field in north Orange County near Pacific Coast Highway.  While walking in an area with good cover, I didn’t see the howler until it stood to answer a siren in the distance.  The coyote seemed indifferent to my leashed dog, Holtz, and me.  It laid down to rest after the siren passed into the distance.  We moved closer and noticed a second coyote present.  It appeared to be older and is marked by scars on its muzzle.  I’m not sure if these two are mates.  I can’t judge if the howler in the Siren picture is slightly swollen around the midriff.  Of course, it is that time of year for coyotes.  Both disappeared quietly into brush when I approached to about sixty feet.

The PCH male’s scars are similar to those carried by the coyote I call Dad who, with his mate and two youngsters, live in a small inland field near a flood control channel – river.  I wonder how typical such scarring is and whether more likely found on males than females.

The PCH coyotes, before I arrived, were cavorting for a photographer in an open area near a well-used scenic, fenced walkway.  My river coyotes are more secretive and I haven’t seen them for weeks.

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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