We live in the suburbs of St. Louis, Missouri. It is a nice community and it is known for its trees. A lot of them. Just since we moved into our house in 2008 we have removed eight trees, and I still don’t have much sunlight in the yard, and NONE in my house. We still have huge trees dotting our back yard all the way down to the creek.
Ah yes…we have a creek. Somehow every house we have bought has had a creek behind it. This one is by far the best one and it has been a source of observing animals in their habitat from the back deck. The first year we lived here, it was really exciting to see the deer in the neighbor’s yard next door. There were three of them just eating at the edge of her yard along the creek bank. The next year, I walked out the front door and saw a huge deer across the street–when he saw me, he ambled back down to the creek and disappeared into the woods.
Later that year, we saw a red fox taking a nap in the back yard. He popped his head up long enough for me to snap a few pictures, then curled up and went back to sleep. I suspect he knew about the mink family that lived down near the creek. They came scurrying up and almost ran across my foot in a deluge when the creek rose rapidly and spilled over the bank. In that same storm, I saw a male and female pair of mallards in the creek. They looked like they were water skiing in the rapids. A little later, they flew back upstream and I saw them float back down. They were having fun!
The barred owls are a lot of fun to see out in the woods, too. Sean and I have learned how to mimic their hoots and calls to each other. Not sure we want them to come too close, but we are enjoying learning about them, as well as the hawks who live there.
But of all the creatures we have gotten to observe, there is only one that I want to leave, dead or alive. The coyote. He made his presence known about two years ago when we were awakened in the middle of the night to the sounds of him subduing his dinner. It was an awful, sorrowful sound made by the victim, and a terrible grunting noise made by the coyote. I suppose it was a rabbit or raccoon or cat that met its end that night.
On Monday, Nathan called me outside. The dogs were going nuts, hair raised, maintaining a steady stare on something. I followed their stare and saw the coyote down at the edge of the creek, staring right back. Eventually it turned and disappeared into the woods. Great. Broad daylight and it’s out on the prowl.
This morning I stepped onto the deck to check the bird feeder only to see Mr. Coyote making his way up the inter-coastal water way highway system. Later this afternoon he was back again, apparently heading home for dinner.
With all the babies around, I am not as comfortable seeing this critter running around my neighborhood, so I called the police about getting it arrested, and they said I should call Wildlife Rescue. You know, I learned way too much about coyotes and how to “discourage” them from hanging around. Bottom line–no food, no coyote.
So, I am putting up signs all through the neighborhood telling the rabbits, raccoons, mice, cats, small dogs and other edible critters that there is just no more room at the inn if we want to get rid of the coyote. Now, I just need a few volunteers to teach the little guys to read so that they can get a move on out of here and not become dinner for carnivore coyote.