Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Coyote Games

Pono has something against coyotes. I am not sure exactly what it is, but he really really doesn't like them. He will bark like mad when they come anywhere near the house, and if he sees them through the window, I always think he is going to smash through it to get to them. Once, I had him on the leash,  he saw one that I didn't see and pulled me off my feet to chase it. I literally flew through the air, and landed face first in the sand. (Pono did apologize when he realized what he had done by coming back to me, licking my face and sitting next to me with a droopy head.)

Today, I think I may have discovered part of what bugs Pono so much about coyotes. We had just started our morning hike. Pono was off to one side in the bushes, sniffing some fascinating thing or another, when I spotted a coyote ahead, right in the middle of the trail. Fortunately, Pono hadn't spotted it yet, so I was able to get him on the leash. This young coyote actually followed us. At first, Pono didn't see it. We were down lower than the coyote, and it must have been downwind of us. It crept closer and closer, until finally it got Pono's attention. THEN, the darn thing began to tease Pono. It did everything short of sticking its tongue out and saying "nah-nah-nah....come and GET ME!" It was almost as if it wanted to play. I feel pretty good about these photos, considering I was holding onto a leash with a 75 pound, trembling, excited dog on the other end. I did suffer a bruise or two, plus a leash burn. This is the price we pay for coyote photos...

This moment almost did Pono in...(and me, when he suddenly lurched forward towards the offending 'yote.
I have heard that coyotes will lure a dog away from the owner in order for several of them to gang up on the dog, and perhaps that is what the coyote was trying to do. I don't worry much about Pono, since he is well fed and getting older and slower, but I was happy I had him on the leash today. After I was tired of playing tug-o-war with Pono and we began to walk away, the coyote actually trotted down onto the trail behind us and LAY down, as if to say, "you two are no fun at all."

Looks like my next desert animal paintings will be coyotes...

The new bobcat painting, now on display at Metro Galleries in Bakersfield until the end of the month:
"Autumn Bobcat." Oil on canvas, 20 x 20 inches. ©Karine Swenson2013


Marjorie said...

Great coyote pix. The face of the one in the middle looks almost like a fox. Plus your bobcat painting is beautiful. It looks so calm, like it's happy to pose for you!

Annie said...

Wonderful Coyote photos! And the painting is great.
My dog does the same thing if she sees any animal!