The Coyotes Hunting Party

This morning I had every intention to write more about Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot, but then my dog lost her mind for the third time on her watch and I felt compelled to get up and investigate. What I saw had me so distracted that all thoughts of what our prince was doing were tossed aside for the time being, although you’re not getting out of hearing more from me about those people. There have been interesting developments, and I have a thought or two about Dostoyevsky’s brilliant style, but that’s a tale for another day.

Today, we have a wild kingdom to explore!

Coyotes aren’t rare around here. I do live in the rural desert. They spend lots of time roaming between the houses, keeping down the rabbit and mouse populations. And they’re beautifully well fed. I frequently get pictures of them at the water bowl at night.

Rarely do I see them during the day, though, especially hunting. And that’s what they were doing this morning.

When my dog started from her watch position on the couch, using her distinctive “there are wild predators in the yard” bark, I looked up. I should say “jumped out of my skin.” There I was, laptop out, coffee in hand, scrolling through… crud. Busted. Yeah, I was looking at Facebook instead of writing my post. But I WAS thinking about a post, and it was a good one too. You’ll see.

When I looked up at first, I didn’t see anything. Then a coyote ran by, and another one. That’s when I went to the window to see what they were up to. I went to the sliding glass door and I found a rabbit just outside, hunkered down by the back of the fireplace, and another went running across porch, while the coyotes continued in the opposite direction.

Ah-ha! A hunt! We had fugitives on the porch. My dog didn’t notice them, thank goodness.

As I watched, another coyote ran by, and another, then one straggler lingered behind. That’s strategic. He’s quietly walking amongst the brush. If that rabbit thinks the pack has left, he might bolt for his hole and then the straggler goes into action, calling the others back to the trail. Clever.

But the rabbits were smarter this time… sort of. They took a risk entering “the farmer’s yard,” but it paid off and they were safe.

The rest of the pack tracked around the back of my house, and I thought they were gone, until I saw them come out the other side. They were sniffing around the back fence, stopping and looking like they were talking to each other.


After a few minutes of reconnoitering, they moved on up the road and over the hill. My dog was freaking out the whole time, from inside the house, of course. She’s a warning dog, not an attack dog. She won’t go out there if there are coyotes. Now, a big bird lands on the tree, like a raven or a turkey vulture, and look out! Attack mode activated!


Interesting though. I was just commenting to a friend that I wasn’t getting many pictures on my trail cam because it’s winter. Over the spring and summer, I get all kinds of bird visitors all day long, and at night I get rabbits, mice, coyotes, an occasional owl or bobcat. I’ve been thinking about moving the whole set up and seeing if I get different visitors this spring.

In the winter, though, everything slows down. It doesn’t snow much, maybe a little bit once a year, but it is cold. No visitors at all at night, and few small birds during the day. That translates to the coyotes. They follow the food and nighttime hunting isn’t so good this time of year. That’s why they were out in full force during the day. The sun was out all day yesterday warming up the ground. And this morning, once the sun started to warm, the food, I mean the rabbits, were out munching the new grass that had come up after all the rain. Dangerous times.

Just another reason I love living in the desert.

One comment

  1. I saw a red fox cross the road the other day in broad daylight and figured that it was either rabid or hungry. Whatever—I didn’t want to go out there and find out for myself.

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