Shy Mom – Brave Mom, by Charles Wood

Janet’s post from May 4th reminded me of my Mom coyote from about 7 years ago. Janet noted that it took courage for her coyote to message a dog that in the past had chased that coyote. I agree.

My mom coyote was shy when I first ran into her. She had shown herself to me and my dog Holtz as we wandered around in her territory. I didn’t know how to communicate with Mom coyote and had some vague hope that we would become friends. She showed herself and so I decided to sit down. I did sit down and so did Mom. She seemed pleased that I had sat. However, being friends wasn’t in the cards.

Shy Mom


The Shy Mom photo is her at what turned out to be an easy entrance to her den area. She chose to stand her ground where pictured, barring Holtz and my progress into the brush. We moved toward her. She went back into the brush. I couldn’t see where she was so I went forward. She came out as soon as we stepped forward. That was a message that was clear and I left.

Mom – Braver


Later I thought I had such a good picture. I was close up to her and there was a lot of detail in it. I carefully edited it as it appears in this post. What I edited out of the photo was something it took me a couple years to notice. I had edited out her full breasts and swollen nipples. I hadn’t looked carefully. Once I did look, it fully explained to me the reason she had barred the path to her den area. Yet she had been so polite. She wouldn’t make eye contact, instead averted her eyes. Previously she would shadow us and occasionally stand out nervously in the open for a while. I decided she was terminally shy.

Brave Mom

A few months later Mom became brave. With Holtz by my side and separated from Mom by a chain link fence, Mom came up to us and did a number. Then she showed us how fit and brave she was. After that day, going just by my percepts, she was no longer shy with Holtz and me. After that day Mom gave us more of the same and then some. I couldn’t help but interpret her change in behavior as her change in mind and spirit when around us. Being friends, of course, was not in the cards that Nature dealt us.

Posting written by Charles Wood. Visit Charles Wood’s website for more coyote photos from LA: Charles Wood. His work is copyrighted and may only be used with his explicit permission.

Los Angeles Sirens, by Charles Wood

Unisex Pat

My March 22, 2017 post showed three coyotes, a male protector and two other coyotes. Better pictures of those other two coyotes are Mary and Unisex Pat. I’ve decided that it is Mary, Mom and Dad’s daughter. Mary Macbeth I should call her given Rufous and her history with Mom and Dad, now deceased. At best they kicked Mom and Dad out of the territory about four years ago.

But Mary is clearly showing. After all, Unisex Pat is one of Mom and Dad’s grandchildren and so I can’t hold a grudge against Mary. Rufous, if he be there, has proved himself. He does make a good living on a fine piece of property. And he helps with the kids; isn’t out and about, god knows where, instead of being home like he is supposed to be.

Mary

So I have made my peace with Mary. I can’t wait to see more grandchildren!

The LA Siren video was taken to get the howling sound. I wasn’t sure if the coyotes were in the brush until the siren sounded. That day I never did see them. The siren video has three separate videos combined. The first segment is when the siren was far off. There was a lot of howling at that. Oddly, when the emergency vehicle went right by on the road, the coyotes went silent. After the emergency vehicle passed, the coyotes made some more howls. But that last set of howls sounded ineffectual. Why is that?

Maybe it’s that the howling was supposed to keep that big bad whatever away. When it came close they got very still and quiet. I guess they thought that their magic howl didn’t work this time. The thing came closer anyway. So when it left it was sort like a feeble “And don’t come back, ah, whatever.” Am I anthropomorphizing?

No. I’m not. I’m making reasonable guesses from what I know about myself and from what I know about coyotes. Coyotes and humans know what it is to be scared and brave at the same time. And to get still when things look like they could get real bad. There is a symmetry to it all.

Ah, you might say. Poor man. Hasn’t he read Descartes:  “I think, therefore I am.” Animals don’t think, you might say.

I say rubbish. I say  “I am, therefore I think.” I say no organism could ever live and has never lived without a faculty for thought. And so the argument goes. I may be right, you may be right; and we just differ on that principle.

Or maybe, just maybe there is a logic to it all and we might as yet find an idea of “self” for all living things that is clear and intelligible. Maybe then we would get some respect for being investigators of the heart, rooting around for truth by perceiving what situations seem like and how it all feels.

Posting written by Charles Wood. Visit Charles Wood’s website for more coyote photos from LA: Charles Wood. His work is copyrighted and may only be used with his explicit permission.