Near Encounters

Here are two occurrences of near encounters in two different parks. In the top row of photos, a coyote was calmly wandering along when a man and his leashed puppy happily walk by on a nearby path. Neither of these took any notice at all of the coyote in the near distance. The coyote helped the situation by sitting absolutely still among the tall grasses in which he blended in well, while watching the duo walk by. After they had moved on, so did the coyote, ever so cautiously and silently and then keeping more to the edges of bushes and trees. Coyotes do their utmost to avoid humans.

In the bottom row of photos, is a coyote who emerged in a green area where its camouflage did not serve it well. There was a group of dog walkers and their small dogs coming its way. These walkers commented positively about seeing the coyote, happy to see wildlife in the area. Although the coyote stopped and watched them, it soon hurried on through the very unprotected open space at almost a run, stopping to sniff one spot — in clear view of all — before moving on. When it arrived at the end of the open field where there were some bushes and trees which offered some protection, the coyote turned around and sat to watch and see if anyone might be after him. No one was — all the dogs were leashed and calm  — so he continued on his trekking undisturbed. Although this coyote did not avoid detection, he did hurry through the area, minimizing the amount of time he was in anyone’s visual field.

What I have described here are coyotes trekking through an area as they hunt or head to a resting spot. They tend to be seen most often at much greater distances, perhaps as they rest and observe from hill slopes or knolls. The distance offers a kind of “buffer or safety zone” to both them and to those who observe them.

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