1.13.10 Wild Things

Dove 790 xxx
I took this with my iphone!
On my way out to snowshoe this afternoon, I came across this poor mourning dove at the bottom of our drive. Her head was nowhere in sight. Yet another mystery of nature I cannot solve. As you can see, she had just dined on some of our delicious birdseed. I hope this isn't too gory for you. (If it is, you may not want to read on.) At 35 degrees, it seemed almost balmy outside today! Within minutes of commencing my 90-minute trek, I had to shed my hat and gloves and tie my jacket around my waist. Despite all my good intentions, this was my first exercise in a week. There were those 3 days in the city, and a few days where it was barely 13 degrees but, still, I'm a weak woman and one who needs to work off a large and indescribably delicious helping of soft-serve green tea ice cream from Mitsuwa. (Yes, we paid a visit to Edgewater, NJ, on our way back from the city and stocked up on all manner of wonderful Japanese ingredients, including fresh bamboo shoots, yam noodles, taro and chrysanthemum leaves.) So there I was, huffing and puffing along, thinking about how it had been months since I'd seen any evidence of the coyotes that used to "mark" the path when what should I come upon?
Scat 790 xxx
Coyote poop! Not as hairy as it normally is but definitely recognizable. Buck up, people. When you're living in the wild, you have to become a bit of a scatologist in order to know who's coming and going on your property. Anyway, I froze in my tracks (quite literally) and half-expected to hear a lusty howl ring out. No such luck. Then I took the opportunity to re-examine what I had previously concluded were old deer tracks.
Tracks 790 xxx
Don't even act like you would have known. I mean, I'll admit that this one looks suspiciously un-deerlike:
Prints 790 xxx
Anyway, I can't say I wasn't mulling over defensive strategies for the rest of the hike. I actually imagined a coyote leaping on my back, its gleaming fangs and hulking girth not unlike that of Benicio del Toro in that werewolf movie. I planned to impale it on my snowshoe pole. I may be a coward but I'll go down fighting. Needless to say, I made it home in one piece. Plucked a spicy spinach paratha from the freezer (sold fresh at Kalustyan's and excellent to keep on hand for when the gluten-intolerant are out of town), popped it in the oven, slathered it with ghee and wolfed it down to quell my keen hunger. You work up quite an appetite out there in the wilderness.


Hello Nature Girl! Carry a stick to beat hungry coyotes at bay. More scary to me is the thought of a rabid raccoon. What's this about 3 days in the city???? And I didn't hear from you. Kisses and hugs.
Margot on January 14, 2010 at 4:00 am —
Busted! But maybe I'll be seeing you in LA?? xoxo
laura on January 14, 2010 at 4:29 am —
Whenever I've seen a coyote in the wild -- most often on the West Coast -- they look too dumb and mangy to have it in them to pursue ANYTHING. Now, "The Wolves of Eldred" would make a great short story title!
Vetivresse on January 14, 2010 at 5:08 am —
Dumb...but hungry!!
laura on January 14, 2010 at 5:14 am —
sad but very beautiful photo of the poor little dove.
shayma on January 19, 2010 at 7:50 am —