“Brown is the new Green” signs can be seen on our parched street meridians. And apartment complexes proclaim they are saving water, though their lawns are sometimes surprisingly green, so we know they’ve been watered. Saving water is the politically correct thing to do.
We’re in the midst of one of our worst droughts here in California. Human water usage has been curtailed 25% by our governor. It’s so dry that many of our dry forests are tinderboxes raging in flames.
Without water, the plants that feed the smaller rodents die, and the die-off moves up the food chain. So far in the city, though, I’m still seeing plenty of voles, gophers, squirrels, skunks, raccoons, hawks, owls and songbirds scampering or flying around, and the same number of coyotes in our parks, dry and brown though it be!
This fella here is hunting for prey. You can see that he is engulfed in a cloud of parched, bone-dry dirt he’s kicked up as he furiously digs up his next meal. He’s successful in his efforts. The dry grasses crackle as you walk on them and I wonder how they support the rodents underground. There is bound to be an impact on them from the lack of water and I wonder how and when that will eventually affect our urban coyotes?
Droughts lead to thirst, scarcity, hunger and want — hardships that eventually lead to death for some, maybe many. Droughts have an impact on animals, often causing them to congregate in, and crowd, the areas where water is more available.
In a city, there are plenty of artificial sources of water, such as the drip from the running water around our houses, so folks in neighborhoods may be seeing more wildlife now. We should be tolerant of any animals we see more often wandering around — they’re just trying to survive.