Thursday, September 06, 2007

Hello Coyote

We finally took some time away from the serious matters of life and went for a very merry walk. The sun was out for a delightfully bright and cheerful change. So, we headed down to the creek. It's our favorite walk-out-the-door walk, no cars, no major planning.

When we arrived the creek was wide at full high tide and deeply green. We often take the creek walk during low and minus tides so we can walk straight out to the mouth and up the shoreline. At high tides like this one we are limited how far we can go, so we just sit on a great piece of driftwood and watch the world go by. It's mostly quiet of human sounds there. The herons squawk at us in unnervingly deep, hoarse croaks, and the kingfishers chatter in sharp rebuke at our approach. Every now and then a small plane engine interrupts all the other quiet murmurous buzzing, humming, and tidal lapping. Still it's all perfectly peaceful, and why we've come.

The other secret reason we walk here is because we are desperate to see something wild, something that will remind us that the world is not entirely made of bad presidents and lousy health care, or strange public-sex seeking senators and tainted food from China. We come down to the creek because here is where we've had our closest encounters with eagles, and we pretty much know which tree the red-tailed hawk sits in and hunts. We want a rendezvous with them. But wild critters can never be counted on, and on Wednesday they were simply not around. It was quiet. It's just the way it is with wildlife, their appearance always come straight out of nowhere. We haven't even talked about why we've come, we just sit and listen. It's a beautiful day. That's when something tawny catches our eyes. There beyond us toward the mouth of the creek, we see a young predator, a little trickster. What a welcomed surprise, we both laugh a little. We want to leap and hoot and holler, but don't. I just quietly lift the camera to my eye. He sees us right away, of course, and starts to trot away before we've even had time to say, "Hello coyote and thanks."

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