Yesterday B and I walk about a mile and a half of beach on Marrowstone Island. We see five other people total. There are long stretches with no one in sight anywhere.
Way down the beach there is a sand cliff. A coyote runs half way across the exposed face and stops. It looks precarious. We watch it. “That’s weird,” says B. “They don’t hang out in plain sight.”
It scrabbles and runs the rest of the way across. It stops and turns and sits. Watching us.
B. frowns. “They don’t DO that.”
“I think it’s listening to us. We’ve been singing and laughing.” We are goofballs on the beach. Wordplay. We’ve both been coming up with advertising songs. Horrors, ear worms.
“They don’t do that.” he says, “Can you take your camera out slowly?”
I have my Panasonic FZ150, 24x zoom. I get some shots. B is acting nonchalant, hunting for agates again. He finds more than me from both practice and I am busy taking pictures and being distracted by other pretty rocks, not just clear agates. He is disciplined. I am a generalist.
I get lovely shots. We zigzag back and forth on the beach, trying to look at ALL the rocks. “If you are hunting like this, other animals think you are foraging. Birds and animals will ignore you. I can get really close to them.”
The coyote is watching us. “He’s listening to us, really!”
“Maybe he wants to know what we are foraging for.”
“He’s hungry. Or he’s young.” We don’t really know it’s a he.
I start singing. I zigzag closer and take more pictures. She is flicking her ears at the song.
“She doesn’t seem rabid.”
“There isn’t much rabies out here.”
“Bats.” I say. I’ve researched it twice in the last 8 years.
“Yes, but not mammals.”
I start a video and sing to the coyote. I sing The Fox, though I leave out the verses about Old Mother Flipperflopper and the hunters. Coyote flips her ears and turns her head. She is checking where B is since he is moving further down the beach. I finish the song and turn off the video. “Thank you!” I say.
We walk again.
When we turn around, there is Coyote. She has shadowed us down the beach, and she slips into the brush at the foot of the cliff. She is quickly not visible.
“Humph.” says B.
Later, we look up and a larger animal is coming toward me. We both startle, but it is in a submissive posture. A dog, not a coyote, with a red collar. We both thought it was a coyote for a moment. It comes up to me and is very friendly. Then to B. Then back to it’s owner, who limps into sight.
“Wow, I thought it was another bigger coyote for a minute.”
“Me too. I thought it was coming right after you.”
“It’s owner looks frail and old.”
“No way!” laugh.
I don’t think so, but maybe. I was more focused on the dog.
I find two clear agates, but come back with two windbreaker pockets with other rocks. B only finds one that meets his specifications. My two really aren’t up to the quality he wants. Well, one is borderline and one doesn’t qualify.