Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Chance Early-Morning Encounter

I begin almost every day before dawn by going outside to retrieve my newspaper, and to deliver my nextdoor neighbor's paper. This past Saturday, as I bent over to pick up the paper, I looked across the street and saw a coyote! I don't know which of us was more surprised.

Coyotes are not what one expects to see in Florida suburbia, but this coyote, or one like him, was seen in our neighborhood last year, too. Around that time, small neighborhood cats and dogs started mysteriously disappearing, and friends were reminded to keep their pets close, and on leashes.

When the coyote saw me, he darted through the neighbor's yard and into the area behind my house, seen above. Apparantly, he's been going great distances around our Pinellas County, which is surrounded by water. Every place he's been spotted has been near the water's edge.


  1. What a way to start the morning! I'm also fascinated by the size of the lot of land behind your home. Does your property extend to the water? Have you seen any other creatures back there?

  2. Happy Sunday Mark, Your Coyote must have been as suprised to run into you as you were surprised to see him.

  3. I always feel really lucky when I encounter wild life, which happens more often now that we live in the country. The elusive fox is a special treat, but we could do without the skunks. Our dog Chaz was sprayed twice in the three years we've lived here. Coyotes are a little more worrisome though, but I have not encountered one yet.

  4. I have heard rrecently of sightings here in Toronto in more suburban areas, much to the alarm of the owners of small pets. It seems that these animals in search of food are venturing more and more out of their comfort zones.

  5. Thanks, Buoni, Gina, Anyes and David.

    Buoni, I have a very large back yard with oak and pine trees. It extends to the old fence, beyond which is a city park and a bayou. I thus have a waterfront view without a waterfront tax appraisal - the best of both worlds!

    Gina, this is our week for animal postings - I love the images of King George, the new calf.

    Anyes, One of my nephews fed an injured fox (he also lives in the country), and for several years she and her kits were quite tame and came up to the back door. When a forest fire raced through the area, the foxes disappeared.

    David, I know how strange it is to see wild animals so far from their natural habitat. I once saw a rabbit in downtown Pittaburgh. It was so surreal!

  6. GREAT story and you have a beautiful back yard! wow.

  7. Thanks, Stefan! The area behind my house is a small estuary that leads to a bayou. It was recently restored, and as a result, I've seen an increase in all sorts of wildlife. The high point was looking out the window one day and seeing dolphins!

  8. coyotes in st pete, whats next a mysterious monkey roaming the burbs!

  9. Greg is referring to a monkey that's been loose in St. Petersburg for many months. He's the source of much attention because wildlife authorities know he's looking for a mate, and of course he's not going to find one. Poor monkey!

    Click on Greg Urbano's name for great photo views of the Tampa Bay area.