Wednesday, July 8, 2009

8 July 2009

The drive in is dark--the moon veiled by thick storm clouds. Something small on the side of the road hesitates to take cover, and as I approach it's identity becomes clear. It is a miniature version of a coyote: one of this year's pups. He's probably no bigger than a large house cat. At least he takes cover as my headlights get closer.
The moon's brilliance breaks through the clouds. A trio of Whip-poor-wills serenades my hike into the darkness, and the mosquitos descend by the millions. As I settle my camera and gear into the Bayberry, an Eastern Towhee and Whip-poor-will sing the moon to sleep. It is dark again.
You know that feeling you get when you know you're being watched? Well, I look to my left to see a coyote watching me. Clearly, he can't figure out what I am. He changes his position, half-heartedly sniffs the ground and stares again. It is far too dark to film anything. Perhaps this coyote followed me in on the trail--they do that being curious about people. Finally, something triggers the alarm and he runs for cover. Eh, wishing I had a night vision lens.
I wait patiently as the sun rises and the long shadows shrink. Nothing but a rabbit.
Undulating screams burst from the thick undergrowth behind me. Adult coyotes steady out the song--it's either breakfast or nap time.

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