I awoke grumpy, achy and bleary-eyed this morning – I’d gone to bed too late, I’d slept poorly, my hip was hurting like h*ll (from an old injury), and I’d forgotten to set the alarm so consequently started my day later than I like.
I stumbled outside with Oliver and Belle, my early risers, and watched as they wandered around the yard doing their morning business. My mood improved as I gazed across the pasture to drink in the ever changing landscape of fall foliage sparkling in the dew and rising sun.
And that’s when I saw him. The lone coyote. On the path in the pasture, just beyond the little creek.
Oh, I’ve seen him before – many times. In fact, he usually visits us twice a day – morning and evening. But this time it was different. He was catching his breakfast. Or perhaps playing with his food would be more accurate. And he was awe-inspiringly, gut-wrenchingly, breath-stoppingly beautiful.
One of my favourite blogs, The Daily Coyote, speaks of the cat-like qualities of coyotes, of how they sometimes seem much closer to felines than canines in their movements and behaviours.
And here I was seeing it first hand. Because, just like a cat with a mouse, he was leaping and pouncing and stalking and batting and prancing and playbowing and yipping and tossing that poor little mouse or vole around in great feline style. He reminded me so absolutely of my Allie when she (thankfully) captures the occasional mouse who finds his way up from the crawl space in this old house of mine.
Coyote was oblivious to me, intent on his work. Or maybe he knew I was there but was not concerned, knowing I have respected his space before and left him time to depart before taking the dogs into the field.
Beautiful is too mundane a word to describe him. The thick salt-and-peppery fur on his torso, his brilliant white chin and chest, his slightly coppery legs shone in the morning sun as he pounced around this way and that, his head tilting at all angles to show off his lovely face topped with those two amazingly large and upright ears. I was mesmerized.
Words simply cannot convey how magical that moment was – the glory of the sunrise, the brilliance of the landscape, the intense pleasure of seeing Coyote at work and play. The scene before me gave life to the cliché “it took my breath away.”
It was a gift like no other. I am ready to begin my day.