Thursday, June 30, 2016

Another Crazy Storm Brings Out the Wildlife

The winds weren't as destructive as they were with the last storm, but at the rate that lightning was striking the ground all around us last night, I was expecting a fire to break out somewhere.  The whole house smelled like ozone.  We got a little more water out of this system, which the plants and trees appreciate.

While rushing the dogs out to pee really quick before we got hit by lighting, we had a poisonous toad in our path.  I kept stomping my feet in an attempt to chase it out of our way, but it was stubborn.  It's not easy holding three dogs at bay when there is a juicy fat toad staring them in the face.  When it finally did move, it had the nerve to hop around me and try to get into my garage, so I had to rush the dogs even more so that I could shut the bay before the toad got in.  Once the toads get into the garage, they stay there, dry out and die, and then our garage stinks.  I usually put on gloves and chase them around until I can corner them, catch them, and carry them outside.  I always get peed on when that happens, and sometimes the toad rearranges the stuff in our garage during the chase.  These toads are one of summer's biggest nuisances during monsoon season.

The other day I stepped out the front door to go pick up the mail, and was startled by a racket in the hedge followed by a growl.  That dang aggressive male coyote was back, only this time he was sleeping in the hedge right by my front door.  I didn't have my pots and pans or anything to defend myself with me, so I jumped back inside the house, shut the door, and looked through the window to see where he went.  He was standing on the walkway at the edge of our porch staring at the door.  As soon as he made a move toward the back yard, I grabbed the pots and ran out the back door, banging them until I chased him all the way down into the arroyo.

Then this morning, after the storm, I looked out the window to see Gabbrielle alerting on a spot down by the arroyo.  Then a flock of birds took off.  I scanned the ground in search of an animal, but saw nothing.  Then my eyes scanned upwards to see a bobcat sitting on top of my neighbor's white acrylic fence.  This was the first bobcat I've seen since moving to Arizona four years ago.  Other residents have told me stories about seeing them, but bobcats are quite elusive, so I've always been a bit disappointed to not have a sighting.

It sat there long enough that I was able to run for my camera, however, in the few seconds it took me to get back to the window, it jumped down and trotted up my neighbor's driveway.  I tried to get a shot, but it was too fast, so I ran out the front door hoping to get a picture as it passed by the house, and I was baffled to see a coyote instead of a bobcat.  I was so sure that was a bobcat sitting on the fence.

Then it hit me that I did see a bobcat, and it flushed a coyote out of the bushes.  Unfortunately, it was the aggressive male, and as soon as he saw me, he stopped running, turned to face me, and started aping me with his grunting noises.  I kept looking toward the corner of the house, waiting for the bobcat to show up, but the coyote's vocalizations were getting louder and louder.  I knew I had to chase the coyote off, or he would keep coming back, so I ran in the house, put the camera down, grabbed the long whip I use to lunge horses, ran out front and chased off the coyote while cracking the whip.

He ran out into the desert, but I could still hear him aping me.  I didn't have shoes on, so there was only so far I could go.  That's the main reason why the hazing hasn't been totally effective.  I'm never prepared to chase him off when I run into him.  He stays away for a few days and I get lulled into a false sense of security, so I stop taking my noise makers and shoes outside with me.

Unfortunately, the cool down this morning brought about by the storm has also brought out the human pests.  Two men on bicycles were standing up on the cliff overlooking my backyard watching me walking around inside my house.  I had opened up the windows to air it out and had the lights on indoors because it was still a little dark outside, so they got a clear line of sight inside.  I was sure to take pictures of them since they weren't minding their own business and respecting my privacy.  It never fails that whenever I am graced with good enough weather to air out the house, I always find a creeper or two standing outside looking in.


appydoesdressage said...

Can you try getting some sort of motion sensor that makes a noise when triggered? I use Ssscat for the inside cats, it is a motion sensor that sprays air when tripped to keep cats off of counters, etc, maybe something like that would work for coyotes?

Linda said...

It's Wild Animal Kingdom at your place. Was the bobcat very big?

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

appydoesdressage - That's an idea. has Ssscat on sale for about $20 at the moment, I see.

Linda - The bobcat was about the size of a coyote, and coyotes can jump up on walls, so that is what confused me. However, the coyotes can run right under or through the fences, so they have no need to jump them. The bobcat was perched up there as if surveying the land and it was much more compact and filled out than a coyote. Once it jumped down and started running on the ground, it moved more like a cat and less like a dog.

Ian H said...

A good dusting of buck shot should take care of Mr. Coyote!