If you recall from the end of my last post, Operation Parkify, I drew your attention to some tree branches overhanging the stream. It might have even made you wonder why I would leave those branches hanging over the stream if my intent was to beautify the surroundings. Well, there are two reasons for that. One is to help prevent unwanted trees and limbs from making their way down to another project I’ll be posting on in the future. The other is due to what was found on those branches. I am only going to put this particular picture on the front of this post and let you make your own decision whether you want to figure out what is in it and whether you want to take the jump to see the better pictures. Warning, not for the squeamish.
Sooooo, if you want to see more, hit the jump
Around Springtime this year I started noticing an odd smell near one of my trails that ran by the stream. It definitely smelled like something had died nearby but due to all the brush was never able to locate where it was coming from. At the time I figured it was probably a coyote kill or a deer that didn’t make it through the winter months. The strange thing is I could never find any bones or evidence to such. The mystery ended up being resolved during the clearing efforts. Towards the last phase of the effort, I focused on the stream itself. This involved removing all of the trees that had fallen into the water and cleaning up the debris that was trapped along the banks. As I was heading into the water to take care of this clump of branches something pearly white caught my attention.
Slowly my brain started filling in the missing gaps until I figured out what I was staring at. This was at the point where the smell was emanating out of earlier in the Spring. The speculation is the coyote drowned in the flooding thaw (gives you an idea of how high this stream can get) and his carcass was caught on the overhanging branches. The hide had turned to leather which was actually keeping the bone arrangement fairly intact. It is surprising the carrion birds had not torn into the body. The part that still draws my attention every time I head down to this area is the teeth. Their whiteness really stands out from the death and decay that surrounds them.
As an avid wolf fan, I must admit I hate coyotes. There are a number of reasons for this including the fact they do not have a controlled breeding pattern (unlike wolves where only the alpha male/female breed) and I have two toy poodles that are under constant supervision when they are out. Although they have a shepherd to protect their horses, my neighbor’s smaller dog has been attacked twice by coyote packs. Around our parts, the coyote is at the top of the food chain and we take every opportunity to thin them out. I decided to keep this dead coyote out in the stream as a constant reminder to the other coyotes out there to find another lot to hunt on if they want to live. Figured I would give you a shot from the other side. Pretty amazing that it is still hanging on with very little holding it all together.
Pleasant dreams! (I know I will since this is the 6th post of the month and needless to say I was sweating it out AGAIN)