In broad daylight, this elder of the Coyote tribe showed him/herself to us as Atina and I were wandering in the desert near Tucson, AZ.
I had just dragged Atina away from
1) a pair of enormous jackrabbits–they were bigger than a Shi-tzu, with long long legs
2) piles and piles of horse shit in varying stages of decomposition, tossed over the horse corral fence.
As we were walking in the opposite direction from these distractions, I felt Atina go rigid on her end of the leash. Miffed, I thought it was more jackrabbit or horse shit and turned around to yell at her, when I saw that she was standing stock-still staring at something. I followed her gaze….it was a big red coyote, standing stock-still staring at us!
It was huge, like the jackrabbits were huge…maybe there’s a connection there? I’ve been running across coyote shit that’s much larger caliber than usual, and mostly made up of rabbit hair.
Anyway, this coyote was easily as big as my 75 lb dog. Maybe it was a wolf! I’ll have to ask a ranger next time I spot one.
The putative coyote stood there for long minutes checking us out. It was so close I could see individual hairs. I wished we could go and talk to it…but two different kinds of canines, one of them wild…so I talked to it from a distance. It looked at me with mild curiosity and eventually turned and trotted off in the direction of the rabbit warren that Atina had discovered in a thicket of mesquite trees.