I took the dogs out for our after dinner walk this evening as usual. We headed over toward the water filtration plant on the other side of 23rd St. My plan was to walk over to the edge of the hill and see if there was anyone in the leash-free area. There are no lights there and no shelter from the cold winds and lately dog owners have been clearing out early.
The leash-free area was empty. I thought for a second I’d take the dogs down the hill and over to the path by the lake, when I saw a coyote out in the field. It was rooting around in the field and I’m guessing it was mousing. For a brief second, the coyote looked up at me, and then started moving slowly closer to the hill. I turned the dogs around and we jogged back toward the road. I’m happy to avoid any kind of encounters with our dogs and wildlife.
By the time we got to the road, the coyote had emerged at the top of the hill and was a third of the way across the field, coming toward us slowly but with some determination. We crossed 23rd and headed down Iris. Halfway to 25th, Memphis had to stop to pull out the little snowballs that build up between her paw pads. I looked back and the coyote was still in the field but only 15 or 20 feet away from the road.
The dogs were oblivious to this action. If they could smell the coyote, they showed no sign of it. Maybe the wind was in the wrong direction for that. They were only concerned that we were heading home so fast instead of completing our usual full walk. The coyote looked pretty scrawny except for its tail but it was hard to tell if it was healthy or not. This was not the first time I’ve seen coyotes in the park or the filtration plant lands – but it was the first time one followed me.
Of course there are different types of coyotes. Here is Guy Clark singing about the other kind…