Yesterday a coyote -- the same one I'm pretty sure I've seen in the yard before -- came back. Though it remains wary, I was able to get some good photos from my bird-watching window:
At one point, it made eye contact, just as it had on May 25th when I got my first photo of it. This time, however, the coyote was out in the open:
By this time I was moving around quite a bit to get the photos, and the coyote started to move off toward the fence where I'd seen it enter and leave the yard during previous encounters. I scooted my chair closer to the window so that the field of view in the lens wouldn't catch the window frame. When I pointed the camera back out the window, I saw a second coyote resting in the shade along the fence line:
I think it's likely that birds foraging on seed I put out for ground feeders drew the coyotes closer to the house -- in the absence of birds, I've seen the coyote eating some of the seeds. While these two were here yesterday, a small troop of tufted titmice -- joined occasionally by a blue jay, Carolina wren and northern cardinal -- streamed a constant barrage of alarm calls.
I've been aware of coyotes in the holler since I moved here more than twenty years ago. Once I rescued my first dog in 2003, I stopped seeing them close to the house, though I could hear them occasionally. In early June this year, however, the last of five domestic animals I'd rescued over the years -- a very watchful and vocal border collie -- passed away. Since then I've seen these two coyotes, a couple of raccoons, a black bear, and a return of white-tailed deer tracks (if not the deer themselves, yet) at my end of the holler.