I looked at him and he stared at me; each one wondering what we would do if the other gave chase. He was one large (waist high), mangy, old and graying coyote. He sauntered past me; we were the only ones on that highway in the national park. He stood still, turned his neck and looked behind him. The movement and the tilt of his head gave the impression he was waiting for someone. They never came.
Here he is sauntering down the street mid-morning in temperatures near one-hundred degrees. Makes me wonder. Was he waiting for the mate that never showed up? Did he expect an old friend hoping to reconnect with the past? He’d come down from the hills around Barker Dam but there were no easy meals out that way today.
Barker Dam is a natural reservoir which Mr. Barker damned up to collect water for livestock runs early last century. Certainly a coyote could have found a stray sheep to munch on back then. They haven’t run livestock that way for a good long time. Currently there’s no water there either it being a dry year. A good summer can bring sixty percent of the regions’ water with the monsoons; here’s hoping for a good season.
I read that coyote’s are one of nature’s best diggers. They dig deep holes for water both for their pals and in hopes other animals will come for the water as well and end up prey. I couldn’t see anyplace to dig that would yield water. Perhaps rabbit and cacti provide enough liquid sustenance?
He looked to be a loner. Mangy and craggy looking he was majestic too. There he stood walking toward the mountain, turning his head from looking behind to move on toward today’s goal. Thinking on it now I should have tipped my hat to him. I do it now, hat tip to the old coyote.