El Loco Termina
3. More Thoughts
The prairie south of Santa Fe is a desert-like place, filled with various kinds of shrubbery, a little greenery, and many other desert plants, sort of like one imagines from the scenes of the old west in photos that we all see in the movies. Many were and are filmed around here, as the price is right, the onlookers are few, and it is reminiscent of the old west as portrayed by the film-making industry.
We live on seven acres about 800 feet west of the old main north-south two lane asphalt highway that used to be the main road between Santa Fe and Albuquerque, and so the place is private, with grand scenic views of the large prairie and surrounding mountains. We hardly ever see anyone on our long walks, and except for UPS or USPS deliveries, and other infrequent guests, we live alone with our two animals, many desert creatures wanting to share our home with us and with all the abundant wildlife outside.
Our rear yard is enclosed with a coyote fence to keep out coyotes and other creatures who are seeking food or shelter and perhaps company. The mice come out in droves each night, rarely seen, but always present. We do put out food and water nearby, about a hundred feet away from the house and under some juniper trees, for animals to forage at night, which they always do. They do not bother us, and we do not bother them, and it is a peaceful co-existence. I choose to believe that they appreciate our thoughtfulness. We have learned to live a peaceful coexistence with them.
In the early weeks after we first arrived, I was walking about a mile away from the house in a remote area with Liz and our dog Giordi, and we suddenly encountered a coyote pack, which began barking, howling and advancing towards us in what clearly seemed a menacing way, and Giordi of course wanted to play with them, and I naturally wanted to run away. Liz stood her ground, as she has lots of native American heritage, used to live in Santa Fe, and is one tough woman when she needs to be. She often practices on me. We both gain from it.
And so we managed to leash Giordi, and at Liz's suggestion, we slowly backed away and when far enough that we were no longer a threat, turned around and ran like hell towards our house to get away. I was a bit shaken, as I had never encountered this situation before. We later found out that it was the season when the coyotes were giving birth, and we were likely perceived as a threat to that process. Since that time we have rarely seen them, but we know they come around each night outside our boundaries to partake of the food and water we put out. I suppose one could call it peaceful coexistence among the prairie animals. What a concept for humans, also.
We continue to take daily walks, either together or alone, with or without Giordi, and have never been bothered since. I believe they know we mean no harm, and I can feel that we are being observed, but it all seems to work out.
I think humans could take some lessons from those coyotes.
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