Listening

I decided to listen as I walked along on a still and quiet morning with no people or pets in sight.  Yes, there were lots of birds singing and there were the usual traffic noises. But also, there were constant “scritch-scratching” sounds, and constant rustling sounds. I stopped and stood totally still to see if I could tell exactly where these sounds were coming from. Sure enough, when I slowed down, I could pinpoint where they were coming from with ease, and I could actually see little rodents at work within little  two-inch areas: digging, pulling foliage into their burrows, or running through the thick grass areas.

These small critters usually tunnel underground over vast areas and only come to the surface at their burrow openings — this is where I was hearing and seeing them. I can imagine how much easier it would be for a coyote, with his extra sensitive hearing, smelling and eyesight, to sense and then to catch what it needs to survive.

Here is an observation which I found amusing. I watched this coyote stop dead still on a path as it had been sauntering along. It was a hard path which had no vole or gopher holes on it. Yet the coyote with his keen hearing could hear the activity below the path. The coyote spent a full minute and a half locating precisely where the sound came from, and then — instinctively — did his “n-curved” dive, fortunately landing on his feet instead of his nose! He then pawed at the ground in a last attempt to reach his prey before moving on — he knew he was missing something which he could not get to.

The coyote HAD to dive because the situation called for it in a certain way — the same way my dog HAD to shake himself out when he saw the rain, even though my dog was standing inside looking out at the rain.

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