wild dogs

Sunday, January 18, 2009

a tiny spider on a big houseplant in a very sunny window

I love spiders. I don't want them crawling on me and I do scream like a girl if one happens to innocently find itself strolling along my bed sheets. I do leap out of bed, arms waving around crazily and then I quickly get my drinking glass and postcard (insect capturing implements) and I remove said spider from my nest (or any other undesirable place) and move him or her to a houseplant - and the bigger the better. In warm weather I would take them outside. Some new territory, lush and green for them to prowl around on. I never ever kill a spider or any insect (homely earwig or sweet ladybug). I will kill a mosquito but only if it's biting me. I don't believe in killing things ... any things. So you can imagine my distress when I found myself at the counter at the post-office, having the Friday afternoon post-office chat, when someone came in talking about a coyote attacking a small dog (it wasn't killed thankfully - the dog will be OK) but then came the big pronouncement The only good coyote is a dead coyote. From a woman who I consider to be a big time animal lover. Like a born again Christian, never one to chance missing an opportunity to attempt to convert the masses, I said The coyote doesn't understand the difference between a rabbit and a small dog (a tres weak rebuttal I realized instantly) they all turned and stared at me blankly. Now one of my girls, one of my fav post office girls, also has a large cattle farm and she has lost new born calves in the past to coyotes which I'm sure must be a terrible and completely heartbreaking experience. I then offer up The coyotes were here long before us and they have every right to be here, we're in their territory ... more astounded stares. Oh oh ! the alarm goes off in my brain and thankfully I come to my senses. I smile my best smile and say Well ... laughing a little under my breath It seems like I might be outnumbered in this conversation so I think I'm just goin' take my mail and get outta here. Have a nice weekend ! I know they won't hold this conversation against me, they just think I'm weird. I'm not sure what I would do if I was a farmer with cattle or sheep or if we (my house full of much loved animals) lived on the edge of the forest and were in coyote territory ... but I do know that I couldn't kill them. I can't imagine that. They are very smart and beautiful wild dogs.

I guess I just wouldn't ever have a farm with live stock and I wouldn't ever live on the edge of the forest ... and I realize that these people can't make those choices. It's times like these I find myself wishing that I lived smack in the middle of some city, where the day to day conflict between man & nature seems much more subtle and could even be forgotten about ... for a time.

They say in life you have to pick your battles and in these parts the coyote battle is one where I'm severely outnumbered. So I guess I'll just rescue a few spiders, say a few prayers for all those coyotes and call it a day.

daily coyote ... and more
and a really great spider book


  1. Last year I heard a pack of coyotes howling at night. It was the first and only time they've been heard at the Manor. At first I thought it was the TV and then realized it was coming from outside!

    Wonderful spider pix! I dropped my camera yesterday and broke it! Waaaaaa!!! And a new one is not in the budget this month. :(

  2. Susan.....G'day! I can give you an opinion on this as we have a small cattle farm,23 head at present.
    We do not have a Coyote problem at present but it could happen anyday.
    We did see one in the field a few weeks ago around noon as we were eating lunch. He had smelled the afterbirth of the newborn Calf born that morning.They will kill and eat a new calf pronto!The Mother can do very little to stop it.Losing cattle is not only bad finacially, but it is devestating
    emotionally as we are attached and have waited nine months for the birth.It's like getting a new granchild ! People around here who do have a problem with Coyotes usually buy a Donkey and put it with the cattle. Donkey's will keep Coyotes away.
    I hated Spiders till I saw Charlotte's web......now I try and show mercy!
    Stay warm and cozy?
    Shuuuuuush...I'll not say a word!
    You know....about the ???

  3. Coyotes and wolves are a touchy subject here as well. Wolves were re-introduced a few years ago and are doing well, thank you very much. Both types of "wild dogs" are beautiful to see in their element but are indiscriminate about their meals.

  4. ... it's only when viewed from our eyes that their meals are actually indiscriminate.

    I say yeah for the donkey !! sadly that would take away the thrill (and I'm not kidding) that people get from killing coyotes.

    The wolf decimation that happened in and near Yellowstone was shameful. Yeah for the wolves (from Canada) successful reintroduction.

  5. We have coyotes in the area for the first time in my memory. I know it is because they have lost habitat and are looking for a place to live. Our neighborhood, being large and quite wooded, seems to meet their requirements. They do seem to be rather transient.... they leave every few months and it will be months before they return. They have gotten several family cats and one small dog was grabbed right in front of his horrified owner several weeks ago while on a walk late at night. It is scary. I just wish they could be trapped and moved where they, and we, are out of harm's way. I'm also glad Edward and Apple are large dogs!!

    We're counting the hours till Tuesday!!!

  6. I love the photos! I was excited to find a ladybug in our window sill. I put it on my plant, since I thought I spotted aphids starting.

    P.S. We have foxes, and raccoons. But both have been scare lately with -30 C. temperatures!

  7. I found this an interesting post on many levels Susan. When we were in Wales, we met a woman who was fascinated with, and always on the look-out for, Native American Indian dogs, for her breeding program with these beautiful dogs she bought back earlier from the U.S to Wales.She said it was very hard to find true species as most had been inbred with coyotes.Some of the dogs resulting from her program looked like huskies, some more like our Australian dingoes. I understand coyotes, like our dingoes cannot help but be predatory.Because of this the Dingo Fence was built in Australia during the 1880's. It was originally built as a rabbit-proof fence in 1884 but converted to a dog-proof fence in 1914,6 foot high and also underground, to keep dingoes from the North away from sheep flocks in South Australia and Queensland.I just thought you may be interested that it is one of the longest structures on the planet, and the world's longest fence(5,614 km's.)...also, I too cannot kill spiders.My husband shudders when I capture the occasional big furry Huntsman spider to release outside.Redback spiders though, are a definite no-no. Deadly.

  8. I just arrived here by blog-hopping from Willow's. I enjoyed your blog, your pets are adorable and I just watched Wuthering Heights Part 1 this evening, thank you for the PBS alert! I would love to read your opinion about it as I will write a little bit about it myself later. Loved the spider photos.

  9. What a good post, Susan. It brings about a very good and heartfelt discussion that touches everyone in different ways.

    And thanks for the chuckle this morning. (Referring to your "and I do scream like a girl if one happens to innocently find itself strolling along my bed sheets" comment) hee hee


  10. Every once in a while there is a coyote that wanders through my yard and over to the neighbor's and grabs a chicken and then wanders back through my yard to who knows where to eat I suppose. We haven't had a problem with them here (except for my neighbors chickens) and I don't know what it's like to lose an animal to another animal. I guess I'm saying that I feel for both.


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