Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Close encounters of the coyote kind

The Farmer has been taking better care of himself, attending diabetes education classes and working out at the gym. The recent 5K run was a milestone for him and I think he surprised himself with his finish.

Last night he returned from the gym looking a little pale.

"What's up?" I asked, thinking that perhaps he wasn't feeling too well.

"You're not going to believe what I saw when I came out of the gym. A coyote was walking through the parking lot not far from my car."

Believe me, there are tons of coyotes around here, you can hear them hooting and hollering late at night. They roam the fields and the woods around here but this is the first time I've heard of one walking through a parking lot in a fairly busy shopping area. The local Walgreen's store is only 50 feet away from the gym.

The Farmer quickly hopped into the car, wanting to put some sheet metal between him and the animal. People moving out here from the suburbs or the city are warned about leaving their small dogs out unattended.

My one scary encounter happened late one night while driving on a lonely road in west Texas. Nothing could prepare this Illinois girl for the snakes and creepy crawlers in Texas. Anyway, I was driving along and there appeared to be leaves blowing across the road. Something didn't seem right and when I slowed down, to my horror those "leaves" were acutally tarantulas, thousands of them crossing the road.

There was some screaming involved and goosebumps and more screaming, then prayers that the car wouldn't break down.

One of our apartments in Texas had a beautiful swimming pool and it was so refreshing to swim at night when the sun went down. Only one problem........ dive bombing bats! No kidding.

I guess an encounter with a coyote isn't that bad after all.
(Sorry, no pics. The Farmer wasn't thinking "blog fodder" as he hopped in the car)

How about you? Have you had any frightful encounters with wildlife?


Renae @ theredwren said...

Oh gosh- the tarantulas... urgh!
Being in Australia I've had encounters with Huntsmans (scary big spiders that move really fast), and a few snakes.
I saw both a tarantula and coyote in the US driving through Arizona. We hopped out to look at the tarantula (I kept my distance) but stayed in the car for the coyote. We did wind the window down and talk to him though..very cute!

Vee said...

Ahhh, this brought back my Arizona days. Tarantulas love blacktop because it holds the heat, but I've never seen a herd of them. =D

Our wildlife encounters of late have been lame — those danged turkey vultures!

Tess said...

We live in a somewhat remote area (Texas), but the city is moving our way. Because of this, wildlife is being forced closer and closer. Also because of the ongoing drought, coyotes are looking for water. Snakes, coyotes, deer, opossums, armadillos, etc. are a way of life. Spiders creep me out, but I just can not tolerate scorpions.

Susan said...

I am no longer scared of much: 6 brothers took care of that! However, I did tell hubby the other day that if he heard me scream not to worry. I really would not be scared, but rather surprised should I uncover a snake while working in the yard. We have resident rat snakes that like to surprise me as I rake around the flower beds. I never kill them because they keep the mice and moles at bay.
I am more concerned about the "gentle" pit bull that lives next door. I am scared that she will turn on one of them or one of us or one of our pets. Quite strange dog because she never makes a sound.

Kathy R. said...

I have a couple of funny stories for you.On a family vacation to New England in the early 1980s we stayed at a campground that had a band of tame raccoons wandering around. They were drawn to our campsite by the smell of frying bacon and also noticed a box of doughnuts on the hood of our pickup. I ran and grabbed the doughnuts and held them over my head and believe it or not one of the coons started climbing right up me to get them. Luckily my dad took them and put them away in the truck so the coon climbed back down and wandered off. About 4 years ago, I had a possum follow me home from my parents' house next door and scratch on my storm door. I thought it was one of my cats scratching the inside of the door, but when I looked none of them were even near the door. The scratching continued until I opened the inside door and saw the possum scratching at the storm door. Needless to say I did not let him in. I live in MD and we have deer, raccoons, possums, fox, etc.

Paula Jo @ Home and Garden Decor said...

Oh wow, you have had some encounters haven't you? The only encounter that I've had was with alligator's while fishing at night. About 4 of them, and over 8 feet long coming towards us at the shoreline. I'm just glad we were with someone who knows how to spot them. That was the end of fishing for this gal that night. I live in Texas also, so have to be very careful.

Leslie T said...

Oh.My.Gosh. Tarantulas en masse? I would have died a slow, screaming death.
We have possums, skunks, raccoons, etc, and I've had some close encounters with them in the backyard at night.
For several years we lived right below the foothills (about ten minutes from where we live now) and there were lots of coyotes. We heard them howling at night, and I'm pretty sure they were responsible for the disappearance of one of our cats. After that, I never had an outdoor cat again. Live and learn, huh? There were also a lot of bats there. We'd be sitting outside in the late evening, enjoying the summer breeze, and bats would be flying around in the trees overhead. They didn't much bother me because they just seemed like birds. They didn't come near me and I didn't really worry about it, though maybe I should have been worried. They seemed harmless though. At any rate, there was never a problem with them, thank goodness.
Tarantulas, on the other hand.... good grief. As I previously stated, I would die of fright.

Cheryl said...

We have a cute little red fox that takes a siesta under our pine trees. One of our cats would love to take a swipe at him, but then she's not afraid of anything.

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Terri said...

We live near Sacramento CA and we have encountered a snake crossing the path while we were out walking one evening. Luckily we saw him from a distance and just let him cross - they really don't want to get involved with you. (Unless it's that attack snake that lives in Australia, I guess.)
We've had coyote's in our suburban neighborhood. (It was a young one that was lost, we think. He ate all the bread we had out for the birds. Poor little thing.) They really aren't that scary. Even a grown one wouldn't attack you - unless you were a defensless baby, I guess
We see flocks of wild turkey all the time. They come to eat the bird seed that falls from the feeders. They are a goofy bunch. Now those I'd be afraid of, big talons and pecking beaks.
My hobby saw a mountain lion while he was walking on the river path that's quite near our house. It was a distance off from him, but you know it could have covered that in no time. (His sister has dubbed him "Cat Chow".)
Our most recent acquisition is a bunch of Acorn Woodpeckers at the bird feeder. We've never seen them so close into the city area. Nothing dangerous there, but so fun to see.

TinaTx said...

I'm not a fan of wildlife - especially in my neighborhood! Hubby and I were coming home one evening a few weeks ago and saw a dog roaming the sidewalks (we have leash laws not to mention deed restrictions against unleashed dogs) when we got a little closer it wasn't a dog, it was a coyote! Just wandering around the neighborhood!

Adele said...

I grew up in way northeastern Minnesota out in the country. I moved 100 miles west 39 years ago, and we have coyotes in our field regularly.
But growing up where I did, we had wolves, bears, and for a few years a moose that came every couple of weeks. But, what scared us all was when the local mountain lion picked our medium sized dog up in our yard and tried to haul her away at about 2 AM. My Dad grabbed his pants and shoes and the rifle and car keys,and ran out the door. It was too dark to get a shot at that beautiful cat, so he jumped in the station wagon and turned on the headlights,and tried to run the cat down. The cat dropped the dog, and loped off into the ditch but, if that cat had stayed on the road for 10 more feet, Dad would have hit it. I'm glad it escaped, the dog was fine, no injuries. Neighbors also saw the cat at times over the years. We also heard it at times when it killed something. But, we got very careful about being out after dark.

Mary Rex said...

Yikes! I hope I don't have nightmares about herds of tarantulas. I like the bat story though. They were probably eating mosquitoes.
I love wildlife, and live in a suburban area full of birds, squirrels, and chipmunks...but I was surprised to see a lone wild turkey in a nearby neighborhood one day recently.

I hope to never live where I have to fear to tread in my own yard because of poisonous snakes or other scary beasts!

Ruta M. said...

Wow, am I glad to be living in the boring old UK. All 3 species of snake are rare and only 1 is poisonous and very shy so there is no need to worry about them. From all the other wildlife the worst you can get is a bee sting or a horse fly bite.