Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Coyote ugly? Not this one....

The little car was parked across the street and it hadn't been driven for awhile. And we hadn't cleaned it after the last snow. I'd decided that this was the car we'd drive today.

So there I was, out across the street from my house, in the minutes just before sunrise, warming up the car and knocking off the snow.

The Sun doesn't officially rise in Chicago these days until sometime around 7:00am, but this was only a few minutes before and there was plenty of light to see. And something coming down the street caught my attention.

It looked almost like a big yellow dog, but there was something odd about it. It was sauntering down the snowy street as if it was marching in a parade: Not indifferent to its surroundings, of course, but trying to look that way.

It was coming from east to west, walking right past my house, then past me, then to the corner. Just before reaching the corner the animal turned and cut across the parkway onto the sidewalk. I watched it for almost another block because I was trying to decide.

Was this just a stray dog? Or was it something else?

Slowly the tumblers clicked into place. It was a coyote. It had to be. That's why it looked like -- and at the same time didn't quite look like -- a big yellow dog.

I pulled the now somewhat cleaned car into the driveway and went into the house in search of Youngest Son. We should have left for school long since. I wanted to say what I'd seen as soon as I got in the house, but Youngest Son preempted me: "Did you see the coyote?" he asked.

We're pretty smug, we humans, in our cities. But whatever we build, however much we pave over, Nature never really goes away. It may go into hiding. And sometimes, in the moments before sunrise, it may amble down the middle of the street.

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UPDATE:

In the comments below, the Beach Bum mentions that he lived in Chicago for 20 years and never saw a coyote... but, then, he said, he had lived in the City, not in the suburbs.

Well, I also live in the City... albeit in an area with large residential lots. But coyotes apparently don't much care about urban or suburban environments.

The picture above is a copy of photo I first posted here in April 2007. This was taken by a Tribune photographer of a coyote captured in downtown Chicago -- actually in the Loop.

6 comments:

Linda said...

We have quite a few coyotes here in the wilds of Connecticut but that's normal for us as opposed to you hip urban types!

And you're right, nature will be nature and come back to claim its own every once in awhile - hence the reason we get bear sightings along with those coyotes!

Steve Skinner said...

Here in the wilds of Oregon, we also have coyotes and an occasional cougar on the edge of town. They especially enjoy feasting on small pets.

The Beach Bum said...

Curmudgeon -

In the 20 or so years that I lived in Chicago - I never saw a coyote. But I lived in the city and not the Burbs.

Also Congrats on your anniversary - keep it up I love your musings.

Thirdly I have linked to your Friday Blog about Christmas Parties in my Blog today.

The Beach Bum

david said...

The coyote was on its way home from the arrest of your Governor, it is Advisor C.

Shelly said...

Yeah, coyotes I've seen in abundance, I used to live in the Texas Panhandle, where you don't leave a cat out overnight for fear of it becoming coyote chow. Coyotes are no novelty to me. The arrest of a governor, however, IS, and I'm anxiously awaiting Curmudgeon's response to this situation.

Dave said...

By the way, "david" is me from Rather Than Working. I was logged in through my Gmail rather than Blogger account.