More Wild Life

Friday, February 3, 2017

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Although this photo has nothing to do with this post, I am short on appropriate pictures.  Craig found a pirate flag in the desert, possibly lost or discarded by an ATVer?  Who knows?  It’s now ours, due to the “finders keepers rule” and as such, this Jolly Roger flies proudly at the back of the Hag.

One of the more prevalent activities here in the middle of nowhere would be “story telling.” I may not be categorizing this practice in the actual terms that many would describe it, but I’m being polite. A dear friend reminded me that my place of residence, at least for the time being, is a “trailer park.” Speaking in stereotypes, I am told some of these hobbies are what is to be expected when you are isolated and there are limited venues for social interaction. What I might be saying is that it’s possible for embellishment to play a part in the recanting of tales relating to things FOY.

Anyway, it seems to have come to pass that the full time residents of this area are visiting this little oasis on a more frequent basis than the park folk are comfortable with. I am speaking about coyotes and possibly rattlesnakes, although the latter deserve their own paragraph. In the land of the Daisies, our story begins about a week ago when Craig took Stella out for her very early morning walk, around 6:30am, on one of the dog/people trails on the edge of the RV park. A coyote crossed their path about 50 feet in front of them. Both Stella and the coyote had other things on their respective minds. (Stella is ALWAYS on a leash, so rest assured, there is no doubt about her safety and well-being) Apparently, everyone made eye contact and then went about their business with the coyote scampering off into the desert. Several days later, there were accounts of a coyote eating a cat, or perhaps a small dog, or maybe both, accompanied by tales of a lot of screaming on the part of said victim. And then there were coyote sightings within the park, stories of which were shared everywhere folks happened to gather.

Another dear friend, who always has the good fortune of seeing wildlife, (he’s a retired wildlife biologist, so there you have it) spotted a large healthy looking coyote trotting through a site almost directly above us. This occurred around 7:30am several days after the desert incident. A couple of days later, when we came home from a trip to town, our neighbor met us outside with the news that 10 minutes prior she witnessed a coyote taking a stroll down our street, which would have been around 5:30pm. I count these as credible witnesses giving accurate reports.

The other not too surprising thing that happens here, is that pretty much everyone has a fairly strong opinion about any given subject. The issue of the coyotes was no exception. It was mentioned that the problem is with folks who choose to FEED these animals by leaving food on the sidewalk at night. I haven’t seen this, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. There was also a lot of consternation about the population of feral cats and those who care for and FEED them OUTSIDE with never empty bowls of food and water. This would be considered an “attractant,” and not encouraged. There are numerous stories relating to this subject, which if the listener is polite, they will simply nod and smile. This is an acceptable response as is repeating this information as many times as needed to convince the listener of its authenticity. But, I seem to be digressing into the present state of affairs…….forgive me. It’s too coincidental.

There is a Facebook page for the park and thankfully for all of us here, it is a closed group. This coyote situation has been discussed at great lengths. But, as usual, another crisis seems to be in the works, which has become the point du jour. There are those who believe the rattlesnakes will be making their annual exodus from hibernation and entrance into the park a little earlier this year due to rains and warm weather. I’m not sure I’m on board with this theory as it doesn’t seem to me that it’s all that warm compared to prior years. We use our heater every night, wear jackets during the day, and sleep with an extra blanket. This didn’t happen last year. Ever. And, we didn’t leave until mid-March, and we didn’t see or hear tales of the rattler. But, these stories persist, and so we note them and act accordingly.

I hope I am not in the minority in my belief that we are just visitors here at this park in the middle of nowhere. Not that I’m not interested in socializing with the indigenousness or perhaps introduced species in this area, because I’m NOT. But I do respect their right to exist with little human intervention. The true year-round residents are not necessarily of the hominoid variety. They were here before we came and they will survive long after we roast the last hot dog or tell the last tale.

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I don’t have photos of coyotes or rattlesnakes, thankfully, but I did see this tarantula.  By the way, tarantulas are seldom seen and possibly because of this, they are beloved here at the park.  This one was by the bathroom up in “dry camp.”  It was transported on a piece of cardboard and relocated to the desert.

Peace and good news to you.

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