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Dept. of Monday

A Coyote on Lawrence Avenue

On Saturday night,  BB and I were returning home to Chicago's North Side from some friends' barbecue on the far South Side. As we drove east on Lawrence Avenue, we saw a huge and beautiful coyote walk out into the street, then retreat back into the line of parked cars on the south side of Lawrence, opposite the cemetery at Clark and Lawrence.

It was much larger than other pictures of I've seen of Chicago area coyotes — but it was definitely a coyote, thin and grey and graceful, with that Ur-dog cleanliness of line that marks some canine species and breeds.

All I could think to say was "Oh, the poor thing!"

I immediately chided myself for saying that; after all, coyotes are very successful urban creatures, defiantly staying in the city when our human narrative decrees that they should long since have ceded the territory to us.  

Instead, like other animals we arrogant humans mistake for interlopers — the cheeky and delightfully vulgar raccoons, those determined waddlers the fluffy and aromatic skunks, the hordes of quivering bunnies and fearless squirrels, the possums with their beautiful liquid eyes and nasty insectivore snouts, even the occasional confused deer or delicate fox — coyotes refuse to buy into that narrative. 

I know that, like most wild predators, they endanger many of the animals humans people their world with, such as dogs and cats. The larger wild predators can even, theoretically at least, be a danger to humans under certain conditions. I also know that coyotes are successfully holding at least some ground in the city. They aren't in danger of disappearing, much to the chagrin of humans who believe they should do so.

And yet, as I saw that coyote trot out of sight and back into the shadows beyond the street lamps, safe for the moment from cars and other human dangers, I breathed a sigh of relief and a hope that it would continue to successfully throw a spanner into our urban works. 

This entry was originally posted at http://kaffyr.dreamwidth.org/418543.html?mode=reply, where there are currently comment count unavailable comments. You can comment there or here; I watch both.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 23rd, 2016 03:01 pm (UTC)
Lucky you! I love seeing wild critters, and it's really amazing how they've managed to adapt, survive, and thrive in urban settings. Boston has a healthy population of hawks, which help to keep the pigeons and Canada geese thinned down (they go after the baby geese--I'm sure the coyotes do as well). I love to watch them soaring up above the tall buildings.

My town has a crazy rabbit population. If I go for a walk in the evening, when it's quiet, there are bunnies *everywhere*.
Aug. 28th, 2016 10:03 pm (UTC)
We have a small population of peregrines living in the skyscrapers downtown, and a few in the taller buildings of the northern suburbs. Skunks, possums, deer, coyotes, raccoons - they're the big ones here in Chicago.
Aug. 24th, 2016 03:53 am (UTC)
As long as it isn't one of the Wolf/Coyote hybrids. They can and will hunt humans.
Aug. 28th, 2016 10:43 pm (UTC)
You're right; I still remember the tragic story of the young folk-singer who was killed in Cape Breton by two coyotes in Cape Breton a few years ago. If I recall, there were stories that the coyotes showing up in the province were larger than normal; nothing was specifically said about being wolf hybrids, but that might be the case.

The one I saw was definitely large; it was noticeably a coyote, but it could have gotten its size from one or the other parent being a dog (there are definitely not any wolves in the Chicago area, or even within natural immigration patterns for incoming coyotes.) It still surprises me that coyotes, wolves and dogs can interbreed. I don't think that foxes and other canids can interbreed, for instance.
Aug. 24th, 2016 08:08 pm (UTC)
Like the idea of coyotes just showing up and wreaking havoc on urban living...just by the sight of them, lol!!

Aug. 28th, 2016 10:44 pm (UTC)
*hugs back*

Coyotes are only one of the many, many reasons that my cats are indoor cats, but I really loved seeing that one trot along under the street lights.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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