The other morning, around 3 a.m., I listened to coyotes just to the south of my bedroom. In February we heard a pair of adults mating – and no, it wasn’t hard to mistake what they were up to; the sounds were very close. And what I listened to the other morning, what I think I heard, was at least one young pup. If you’ve had dogs, you know the sound. It reminded me of August, 2010, when Forrest was here for a few days, and we were enjoying our breakfast on the upper deck. I told him that a half-grown coyote had been visiting some mornings but that I never thought to bring out the camera and take a photograph. When the young pup came around the side of the house, ambling over towards the garden shed, Forrest suggested I go in for the camera. But alas, the battery was worn down. Luckily the coyote hung around long enough for Forrest to take this. What you can’t see is that the pup was eating salal berries, pulling down branches and holding them with its foot while it delicately plucked the ripe berries from along the stem.
I love to lie in bed and listen to the whole family of coyotes sing. There are moments of counterpoint, beautiful harmonies, long passages of obbligato, like an oboe d’amore supporting the rest of the song.