San Francisco has lots of blackberries — Himalayan Blackberries — which are eaten by a variety of critters at this time of year: birds, coyotes and humans! It looks like a coyote made a pretty full meal of them here!
Himalayan Blackberry vines also form tangles of thorny protective habitat for many of our wild critters. Most humans and dogs won’t venture into a thicket of this spiny plant — it’s just not worth it. Birds, raccoons and coyotes know how to make use of it for their protection against other species. Unfortunately, in San Francisco, there is a small group of “nativists” who have infiltrated the park department. They have removed huge portions of these plants in many of our parks. The result has been more bare ground, and less habitat for wildlife in our parks. Fortunately, some of it is now finally growing back — I think many people complained: I’ve seen humans and others again enjoying this food, and the activity of picking it!
I was inspired to post this because of a comment I recently read on a petition to stop trapping and killing coyotes in Atlanta, a comment I felt was extremely warm and heartfelt:
“I live in San Francisco. I have coyotes in my back yard. I can hear them howl when the sirens go by and have seen them eating berries from the bushes. They present no harm when managed properly and respecting them. Do not trap and kill coyotes.”
If you want to sign the petition, here is the link: http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/stop-coyote-trapping?source=c.url&r_by=6767189