Sunday, September 8, 2013

Wile E. Coyote--NOT

On Thursday we went for a drive along Custer State Park’s Wildlife Loop.  We almost always see something of interest, and we weren’t disappointed.  We came across part of CSP’s bison herd grazing peacefully on the side of a hill.  Since I seem to have almost a million bison images from our first two years here, we didn’t tarry.  Maybe later in the month we’ll have some more action if the rut is still in progress and the bulls are sparring.

But that wasn’t the best “sighting.”  Driving along the eastern section of the loop, we saw a couple of cars beside the road and stopped for a look.  We were rewarded with a good view of this young female coyote in a small ravine only 20 to 30 yards from our vehicle.  We have only seen coyotes here a couple of times, and then at a great distance.  Fortunately, this time I had the good camera and my long lens.

She seemed unconcerned that we were there, even with Rue yipping with excitement.  She busied herself sniffing around, eating some grass, and at one point yawning to give us a good view of those pointy white teeth.

She was far from being the scraggly, bumbling, Wile E. Coyote of Roadrunner cartoon fame, or the lean and mangy coyote of legend.  This little girl was calm and poised, appeared well fed, and her coat was beautiful, thick and luxuriant.

We watched her for five minutes or more, until she disappeared into the bushes on the side of the ravine, emerging seconds later on top.  If I hadn’t been watching for her, I never would have seen her.  Would you?

She looked around a few times, then casually trotted away.  We wish her well.  It was a great way to begin our stay here in Custer.  We are truly blessed.

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