It looks like this coyote is welcoming the new year. He’s actually playing with a dead gopher. In the photo above, he has just tossed the gopher up into the air with his snout, pawing the air in the direction the gopher went, and landed on his seat with his arms flailing and extended! The dead gopher itself can be seen at 1:00 o’clock. The arms in the air, I think, are fabulous! Looks like an energetic starburst — appropriate for welcoming the new year! More photos of the energetic playing are here, below. Coyotes play this way with all sorts of novel items they happen to find — the more novel the item, the better — including found tennis balls, a found boot, a found glove, my own lost hat, stuffed toys dropped by kids in a park, dead rats, etc.