Sunday, July 27, 2008

Coyote Yips

As I wrote in my last post, I heard one coyote howling in the wee hours of the morning down the hill from the yurt, and speculated that a deer had been killed. Well, Drew and Ella went on a creek walk the following day, and indeed, found part of a deer carcass. Wow, I felt excited to prove my suspicion.

But, as always, mystery surrounds the encounter. Though I haven't seen it, Drew said that all they found was a rear leg, obviously fresh, and that they could see the kill site, but that the rest of the carcass appears to have either been dragged off somewhere, or eaten entirely. The latter is less likely. Usually, if it has been eaten by carrion feeders, the skeleton persists for months and even years. So this begs the question in this tracker's mind: did coyotes kill it, or maybe a mountain lion, an animal more likely to take the kill with it, and bury it somewhere. Very interesting. Not sure if I will have a chance to get down there to look at it myself, it may already be long gone, while evidence of the initial event are sure to be fading very fast. I hope to be able to answer these kinds of questions in the future, with more practice in tracking and observation.

In other homestead news, we shared our first blackberry pie of the season last night with Drew's family, who picked the berries at the Lost Coast Lodge, down on Old Coast Wagon Road. Served with vanilla ice cream, it's hard to beat. We also picked a respectable amount of berries together along our driveway. Our strawberries that we planted this spring are actually producing small handfuls of berries every few days, a delightful and uplifting thing to experience: perennial food crops! Whenever we venture out to the garden, Ella informs me, "Mama, I go ta look for some trawbewwies." My newest round of seeds have germinated into the first little bits of lettuce, spinach, beets, and carrots. And the corn is stretching out, getting ready to form ears. Can't wait to sample that first sweet bite of fresh, juicy corn. Looks like it's still at least two to three weeks away, but who's counting?

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