Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Late Night Encounters

Last night, at just after midnight, I was driving home. I had left my car in a shopping center parking lot and by the time I left there I was the only car on the road. The night had that eery dreamlike feeling that comes with the after-midnight hours and being all alone on a normally busy road. And I was tired, which added to the dreamlike quality of it all.

As I pulled onto the road, I saw a fuzzy little rabbit sitting in the middle of the street in front of me. So I ran him over.

No, I'm joking. I didn't run over the rabbit. I slowed down and watched him. He turned and ran to the side of the road. And then he began running down the sidewalk for as far as I could see him. I was surprised. I had expected him to zig and zag and then disappear into some bushes, but apparently he liked the sidewalk and just stuck to it.

I'm thinking he must have been a very young rabbit, because he was very small, and also an older rabbit would have said "to hell with this concrete hurting my feet. I'm running on the grass and maybe just ducking into some bushes." Only a young rabbit would view a hard concrete sidewalk like a personal dragstrip and use it to see how fast he could go.

zero to gone in 3.2 seconds
After the rabbit disappeared, I drove on towards home. I cut through a neighborhood that has damn stupid speed 'humps' installed, which makes me drive about 2 mph and throws all the crap inside my car around each time I go over one, not to mention the destruction of my suspension.

Once I made it through the neighborhood, I turned right onto a winding 2-lane road that divides 2 large subdivisions and began heading west towards my neighborhood. I drove over a short, steep hill and and down the other side. As I reached the bottom and continued on, I noticed something in the shadows out of the corner of my eye, over to my right.

I slowed and looked to see what it was.

There, as big as life, and showing no fear of me whatever, was a giant damn coyote, calmly eyeing me as he jogged through the front yard of the family who lives at that house while they were soundly sleeping inside, likely with no idea that a wild predator was patting across their lawn just outside their bedroom windows.

I jog through this neighborhood, and right past this house, often late at night when the temperatures are cooler.

This is the middle of the city. This isn't the countryside. And this neighborhood is older than I am by a good bit, built sometime in the early 1960s, I believe. So it isn't as if the coyote's territory was recently developed and he hadn't moved on yet. He, apparently, was a city-slicker coyote and was probably looking for that rabbit I had just seen.

I went home to bed, but I dreamed of late night coyotes and rabbits and being alone in the dark all night long. And it was creepy.

Nice doggy, don't eat the joggers

Here is some video footage of a smaller, Canadian coyote demonstrating why it's a bad idea to harass them. They will come after you if you bother them, and sometimes even if you don't.


  1. my first thought was lucky the bunny was a couple of suburbs away!!!!

    I remember one christmas we were driving to a job in suburbia & saw a duck followed by a domestic rabbit wandering down the footpath of a busy road, single file!! I swear it is true, I was not on the eggnog.

    I love seeing a fox in the city.....I'm sure others don't, especially those with chickens. It would be pretty cool seeing a coyote. Maybe he was a shifter (true blood esque). Will you still be jogging there late at night???

  2. No way that coyote was pure wild....he looked as though he was used to humans. Like they'd been feeding him or something.

    We get lots of foxes around here. And this time of year when it's freezing cold, at night you hear them yipping to one another.

    We're in a small country town, but we've seen kangaroo's hopping down the main street! In DAYLIGHT!

  3. AlleyCat, the coyote I saw did look a little shifty to me, but then they all do. We have foxes around, too, but it's even rarer to see them except briefly as they sprint across the highway and disappear into nearby shrubs.

    Ute, yeah, I thought that, too. The coyote acts as if he has been fed by someone and the guy even remarked about not feeding him. But the way the animal kept circling at a safe distance without growling, I think he was hoping the guy would throw some food his way, like someone had done it before.

  4. I don't jog but will ride my bike...weeeee. When I lived up the mountain...I was real careful...pumas can hunt humans too you know. So like when I used to go in the canyon...I used to carry a knife and my a 9mm.

    You hear stories you know and that made me very careful. later honey. xxx

  5. Spiky, I'd rather deal with a lone coyote than any big cat. Yikes!