Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Another County Encounter

I haven't seen the mother deer or fawn again, but Sunday night I met someone else. It was just after 8:00 p.m., and I wandered down the lane to the bottom of the hill to take one last look at the woods and the field before calling it a day. I stood for a while, listening to the robins, yellow warblers, warbling vireo, chipping sparrows, and more. I'd hope to see the indigo bunting again, but no luck. I turned and looked down the lane towards the lake (invisible from this point) for a bit, just dawdling really, reluctant to go in.

Then I heard the swish of something moving in the grass just down a little way and to my left. A coyote stepped out on to the lane, couldn't have been more than 10 metres from where I stood. It started to turn to go down towards the lake, paused, looked at me, then turned around and went back the way it came.

The coyote was brown, and had the bluntest features I've seen on one of these guys yet, put me more in mind of a dingo than of the coyote I met in the far field in Thomasburg last August. But it was clearly mothing but a coyote--the third I've seen the past 12 months in the County, and the sixth I've seen this year overall. It's been some year, six is twice as many as I'd seen in my previous 47 years of looking. Of course seeing two in one night this past winter helped the numbers quite a bit!

But this coyote had more import, of course, since by happenstance I had an attachment to a fawn that I had good reason to believe was somewhere within a 100 metres of where we met. I know that if I'd met the coyote first, I would have thought of its family, and been glad that there were lots of deer around for it. Also glad that the abundance of deer would keep it out of harm's way by keeping it away from the sheep. And glad that the coyotes are here helping keep the deer in check so that we don't end up crashing into even more of them on the roads.

As it was though, I couldn't help hoping that the fawn was still tucked away on the right-hand side of the lane, and that my "encouraging" the coyote to turn back will contribute to it living to grow a little older.

No comments: