Mom seemed to be quite intent in her search as she walked along, stopping occasionally with her nose to the ground. One of the pups just lay there watching the whole ordeal while the other pup would jump straight up into the air as if pouncing on something. After watching them for a few minutes, I figured out they were feeding on grasshoppers.
The mother coyote was eating as many as she could, but the one pup would stalk and attack them more like a cat than a canine.
This went on for several minutes as I stood motionless in the old roadway. But when mom turned around to check on her pups, she immediately noticed me. I could have been wearing flashing lights and she wouldn’t have seen me any quicker. She barked at her kids and they took off running.
I don’t know how she spotted me so quickly. I never moved and the wind was coming right into my face, but with her high alert status, she immediately knew something was different and she wanted her pups out of there.
Last fall, I saw a coyote a couple of different times and it didn’t act so wary. But I guess the motherly instinct made all the difference.
Anyway I continued my 2-mile hike and thought, as I started down the hill, “I wonder what I’ll see tomorrow?”
Paula Repka, a world-renowned geocacher, will talk about geocaching at the fire tower at the top of Balsam Lake Mountain at noon Saturday. She will discuss its history and terminology, as well as how GPS technology works. She’ll also give demonstrations while showing several types of containers that are used. Sunday is the rain date.
Rick Brockway writes a weekly outdoors column for The Daily Star. Email him at email@example.com.