Frozen Moments

7 December 2018 – It began one crisp sunny morning, the aftermath of a night that dipped below zero. I was back at VanDusen Botanical Garden, daytime, no sparkling Festival lights — just sparkling ice-skin on the lakes and ponds.

So slight a skin, it’s barely there.

As if the water itself were frowning in surprise, frozen with amazement.

Cypress Pond holds its breath.

Everything glitters …

but nothing moves.

And then, a few days later in Mount Pleasant’s Sahali Park,  I am the one holding my breath, frozen with amazement.

We both are, Frances & I; we whisper in awe and respect.

“It is,” we murmur. “It really is. It’s a coyote.”

(Frances takes the better photo, this is it.)

The animal moves slowly, easily, apparently unconcerned about the humans who happen to be passing by and, after an initial double-take, freeze in place. Nobody approaches him, or harasses him either. We all just … observe.

I worry about his lack of concern. A wild animal shouldn’t be so at ease, out in the open in an urban space with humans about. (Later, I read it is a growing problem, and that we humans can take steps to avoid conflict.)

A sharp-eyed old gent in a wheelchair chuckles as the coyote stalks some pigeons, who predictably fly off, and then lopes away to investigate a shrub deeper into the park. “He eyed a cat earlier,” he tells us, “over there,” tilting his chin to show where. “Big old cat. Cat just puffed himself up and hissed. Coyote backed down.”

(I’m back west, I think with glee. Easterners talk about coy-o-tees; but here in B.C. as in Alberta, these critters are coy-oats.)

A few crows are swooping around, scolding the animal though from a safe height. Otherwise, the sky is empty. All other birds have perched on the wires, and every head is turned to watch the coyote’s progress.

They, too, are frozen in place.

 

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4 Comments

  1. I love these frozen moments. 🙂

    Reply
  2. ericseidlitz

     /  8 December 2018

    Your link above for how humans can avoid conflict with coyotes takes me to a brewery website. So I must conclude that I should drink beer to avoid coyotes! Bad for me since I don’t drink beer…. Wendy

    Reply
  3. Psst…the link on how to avoid coyotes takes me to the WestCoast Food blog…is there a beer called “Coy Oats” that perhaps staves off coyotes? Perhaps this article on how to co-exist with coyotes is good for your readers (http://stanleyparkecology.ca/conservation/co-existing-with-coyotes/how-to-co-exist-with-coyotes/). They regularly walk about my neighborhood in Ottawa and I definitely keep my cat indoors!

    Reply
  4. 🥶 I don’t do well in the cold.

    Reply

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