March 2003

Monday, March 17, 2003

The Wild, Wild West

imageWe’ve got coyotes.

As I was out in the front yard, which I will grant you isn’t much of a yard ... it’s a six foot deep expanse of gravel and weeds that I’ve been trying to cultivate as a rock garden ... anyway, I was out there with the dog last night around midnight. The moon was fullish and the skies were mostly clear and crisp. And as I went to dispose of my weeds in the garbage can in my driveway that I hadn’t taken down to it’s storage space because of the rain on Saturday, I looked up, dog still tethered to me and saw two coyotes silently trotting down the street towards me.

They are pretty much the same size as my dog ... about thirty pounds, narrow bodies, bushy tails, lithe and trim bodies with brindled brown and grey coats. They stopped, in front of my house, across the street on the sidewalk. Posing, I can only guess. Not facing me, still pointed to continue up the street, but their heads turned and fixed on me, and perhaps more importantly, on my dog.

They weren’t the least bit scared. I positioned myself at the top of the driveway, and my dog did what she always does when another animal comes along, she sits and will not be moved. Well, the coyotes were the same way and just stared us down. We stood like that for well over a minute.

I slowly made a move towards them, and they matched it with a few steps toward me. Okay, maybe that wasn’t such a good idea, I wanted to scare them off, not meet in the middle of the street and shake paws. I stomped on the ground in their direction and made some “yah!” noise and waved my free arm. One just turned and continued his trot down the street, the other, the closer one went up the stairs into the yard across the street. He joined his companion down the street, having cut through the yard and by the neighbor’s garage.

So, I figured they were gone. I saw them trot up the street and out of view.

I let my dog finish her business, that was what we were out there to do, after all. We walked across the street and she marked the spot where they were standing. I kept an eye down the street, to the spot where the streetlight pools and the street rises out of view and there they were again, standing up there. Waiting.

They started back down the street, and I’m still amazed at how quiet they were. Even a dog with no collar makes a sound with their claws on the pavement, but these fellas were like cats. And this time they stayed in the middle of the street and showed no sign of slowing on their approach. So, me and the pooch made a beeline for the back door. We went inside and stayed there. I turned off the lights in the house so as to get a better look at the coyotes outside and noticed that they sniffed around where my dog had marked and then, as I went to find a camera with some film in it, they disappeared.

I don’t know. It just freaked me out a bit. Wild animals prowling around, seeming to have their sites on me and my pooch.

I’ve seen these coyotes before in the neighborhood, even saw one in my back yard one evening as I went to take the dog out. But never this close up, and never with them so bold.

Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy my wildlife in Los Angeles. I’ve got a menagerie in my back yard. A skunk, two racoons, squirrels a-go-go. Crows, hummingbirds, mourning doves, red-tailed hawks, sparrows, blue jays, probably bunches of other birds I can’t name. An opossum. I suppose it’s only natural to have something at the top of the food chain. I’m sure as hell not eating these other creatures. And I’ve found evidence that something is eating them, the occasional ribcage or tuft of fur and sometimes a flurry of feathers (which is more likely from the neighbor’s cat) ... a huge rib bone, which I can only imagine is something from a cow that one of the coyotes dug out of a trash bin somewhere (jeeze, I hope that’s where they got it from, I’d hate to think that the aliens are performing their cattle mutilations in my back yard).

My point is, I guess I’d like them to keep to themselves a little more. I’d like the coyotes to be a bit more afraid of me. Maybe I’m just too nice.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:08 pm    

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

One Less Thing to Worry About

imageYes, my list o’ things to do before I die just got a bit shorter this weekend.

I arrived in downtown Los Angeles early Sunday morning and a scant seven hours, forty seven minutes and thirty seven seconds I was basically back where I started. Probably two pounds lighter from the loss of weight but with a medal around my neck and good feeling in my heart (and a painful feeling in my shoes, but that’s another story).

Okay, it wasn’t the best time in the world for a marathon, but lets face it, how many folks actually even attempt it? And I know so much more about marathons having done one now and next year I hope to shave ninety minutes off of my time. Yeah, next year’ll be even better. And if you ever think you CAN’T, try telling your silly-ass reasons to Bob Wieland, whom I passed and saluted at mile six. He started on Saturday ... I hope he’s finished by now. UPDATE - Bob Wieland finished on Saturday, 173 hours after he started.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:54 pm    













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During November it's all about me writing a novel. Sometimes it's about whalewatching. You know, and then there's other stuff.