One of the best things about cold days at the wetlands is how few humans are around. Fewer humans means I get to see more mammals, and that means coyotes. I love how they watch me from a safe distance. This one was getting ready to turn down the path I was on, saw me, thought better of it, and backed up into some brush. I stopped and waited for her thinking she would come back out and go where she needed to. Sure enough, she came out and ran off in the other direction. It is always a gift to watch them.
A morning at the wetlands without coyote sightings is always a bit disappointing. They are just so amazing. I am always looking for them and if I wait long enough, I can usually spot one watching me from a safe distance. They always stop and look for a while, we acknowledge each other, and then they go back to what they were doing. I imagine they have a pretty good sense of who they should worry about and that is certainly a good thing with so many people out to get them. Cloudy days are great for seeing them, but not so great for pictures. Click on pictures to enlarge.
I particularly want to highlight coyotes because they are in more danger than ever from this administration and wildlife “management” agencies propelled by junk science and blood lust who think they have a mandate for destruction. An administration hell bent on plundering natural resources and destroying more public land for animal agriculture is going to be even worse about attempting to destroy those they see as “scavengers” or “predators.” Celebrate the coyote. Click on pictures to enlarge.
Finally, I am getting around to getting out to the Wetlands a bit more regularly. I always look forward to cold mornings when there are just a few humans on the paths. We nod at each other and sometimes share our stories of who we have been seeing. It is a kind of quiet community, and I would venture to say, one that brings some peace to many of us worrying about the current state of things. While we may not know what is coming, one thing I am sure about is my commitment to keep sharing and hoping more humans pay attention. Click on pictures to enlarge.
Not a great a picture, but I wanted to share this because I think this bald eagle couple might be contemplating a nest here. This would be a wonderful addition to the wetlands, and it looks like good real estate!
Northern Harrier trying to outmaneuver a group of sandpipers and a killdeer. They got away.
Deer and coyotes.
Bluebirds, goldfinches, and herons, oh my.
It was a morning of coyotes and Cooper’s hawks. I took a walk through the Wakarusa Wetlands and it was relatively quiet until I ran into this beautiful coyote on my way back to the car. When I got home, I noticed the quiet immediately as I got out of the car, and the fact that no robins there to greet me looking for raisins. Sure enough, there was our neighborhood Cooper’s hawk sitting on the ground directly behind the brush pile (designed to give the birds some cover). Click on pictures to enlarge.
I went out to Clinton Lake this morning. It was a frisky (thankfully, not much wind!), but I am so glad I went. I was just thinking about how I had not seen any coyotes this winter, and there they were. So beautiful! Click on pictures to enlarge.
Every picture I post this week and next will be from the area of the Wakarusa Wetlands that will be obliterated by the SLT. I have hundreds of pictures of hundreds of species who will be displaced and/or killed by greed and indifference.
This will be gone. Click on picture to enlarge.
I ventured out to the Wakarusa Wetlands yesterday morning and took in the cold rain/sleet/snow and wind. All I could think about was how privileged I am to get to warm up. Geese were diligently incubating while their partners guarded nearby; the coyotes seemed to be everywhere looking for a meal; new arrivals like the yellow-throated warbler, Baltimore oriole, and indigo bunting stayed deep within the brush. I could make out their colors as I walked by. I didn’t stay long as I felt my presence there was just one more thing they all had to worry about when conserving energy was so very important. Click on pictures to enlarge.
I really do not understand some human’s hatred of coyotes. I guess that is not really true. I do understand speciesism. I understand how many humans need an out group whether that be other humans or other species. After all, speciesism is the first “ism.” Whenever I see a coyote, I am immediately aware of his or her fear of me. In Kansas, it is legal to shoot coyotes from cars, so this one keeping an eye on me while I took pictures from the car has more to do with fear, I imagine, than curiosity about what I am doing. Respect the coyote.
Click on picture to enlarge.