Nature is of course varied and infinite. Even in the winter garden…hawks, fox, squirrels, and the odd possum (yuk.) But yesterday I had visitors I actually would prefer to keep to the woods across the highway and the creek down by the lake.
Near noon, sunny and cold, I spied a gorgeous golden German Shepherd leaping my boxwood ,taking a few steps and leaping my back fence to elegantly land in my neighbor’s back garden. This was no German Shepherd…it was an adult Coywolf. Then another followed, trotting along my side garden, passing the raspberries, ignoring the white rose framed by my dad’s old wooden ladder and over the boxwood like his pal.
I observed this from the comfort of my window with my Standard Poodle safely ensconced in her chair behind me. And so they continued for nearly an hour, back and forth, gone and back again. And again. These burly, handsome animals leap fences – wire or wood – like champion show jumpers. With great ease they clear the top posts with plenty of room to spare – and from standing positions. I can hear their yipping at one another and imagine they are chatting about the best place to begin their den.
This is breeding season for Coywolves and Coyotes (smaller) and they are searching for a quiet place ideal to dig their den. They are drawn to wood piles, brush and deep masses of old roots. And my neighbour’s pile fits the bill. Their stack of ash limbs and boughs from a tree felled in September attracts them: it is home to squirrels, rabbits and mice. This is a built in buffet for a Coywolf. The yard is deep and expansive and virtually deserted during the winter when their young boys are away at school.
All my reading informs me that Coyotes and Coywolves are shy of humans, more curious than aggressive. Like much of wildlife, they will only become aggressive when a human treads too close to breeding territory or their pups. National Geographic says they are only active at dawn and dusk, and during the night. Uuuuuhhhh….no, they are in my garden at 11:30 a.m. and then again this morning at 9:00a.m. Their lives are changing and we are responsible for those changes and the consequences to all.
My local councillor and government people have been very responsive and I respect their efforts to keep a balance in our fragile eco-system. We must all do our part…helping the growing urbanized wildlife population to adapt safely and appropriately: keeping garbage containers locked away, preventing bird feed from being a main attraction and maintaining a property tidy and clear of brush and debris where they might be tricked into breeding. These are pretty sensible steps to take so we may live peaceably.
Ultimately, humans are the interlopers. Wildlife creatures are the original species and we continue to absorb and disrupt their land and their ancient patterns of survival. It is not hard to respect each other here, it is simple and it simply works. We are responsible.