Sunday, November 27, 2011

Coyote Brush Highway

Hot day on the Coyote Brush Highway for a coyote pup.
The game was up.  With their keen noses and my sensitive skin, I didn't expect to get additional close-up glimpses of the coyote pups as I did in June.  To keep track of their progress, I decided to place wildlife cameras near the brushy thicket where I frequently saw them. Not only did I suspect the coyote brush sheltered their den, but soon I learned how important the brushy structure was to many other types of wildlife.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Stumbling Onto A Coyote Den - the incidental merits of fighting yellow starthistle

Three juvenile coyotes travel past the wildlife camera on The Coyote Brush Highway.
I noticed something unusual in late June as I was mapping yellow starthistle in the upper pastures.  Mapping is an important early step to controlling noxious weeds, but I was annoyed to be walking through so much of this prickly pest.  In hopes of finding the waning edge of the infestation, I looked up towards the fence line and was relieved to see soft grass ahead.  And something else.  A small black flag was twitching above the seed heads.  It was the impatient tip of a brushy tail.  In a few seconds, a pair of paws came shooting out of the grass followed by a sharp nose and then a body and tail forming a furry parabolic curve.  A diving coyote pup.