This column, That Nature Show, is about the nature right under your nose: in our backyards, playgrounds and parks! Stop and look around, you’ll be amazed at what surrounds you.
The dog-eaten-by-coyote actually happened to friend of mine in Boston. Seriously, suburban Boston. Emerald Necklace Boston. My friend was out running with his Chihuahua mix (don’t laugh) named El Jefe (“The Boss,” in Spanish — again, don’t laugh) and one minute Jefe was there, running balls out like only a small dog can, and the next — poof. Gone. Next day we read there’d been coyotes sighted in the area.
Which brings me to my point: We saw a fox on the field behind our house in Owings Mills. Or rather, the kids saw it first and told me to put my glasses on so I could see it too. My dad and I started yukking it up. I’d said, “What does the fox say, Grandpa?” testing his knowledge of what he calls “young people’s Internet trends.” And he’d said, “I’m not a fossil. I know what the fox says,” and then do his impersonation of Ylvis that I think is hilarious.
But then we looked at the animal in the field more closely, “Hey that’s an awfully large fox. And not acting fox-like.” I made a protective layout for Sugar (our nine week old Bichon puppy) who was outside sniffing the neighbor dog’s poo, blissfully oblivious.
According to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, “coyotes are a relatively new addition to local ecosystems, and were first documented in Maryland in 1972.”
“In the eastern US, coyotes have assumed the role of top-order predator. Consequently, they tend to fundamentally alter existing ecosystem structure and function. Culturally and ecologically significant species including red fox decline dramatically in response to increasing coyote populations,” meaning, what our fox says, the one that lives in the brush pile on the edge of the field is, “Oh crap.”
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