Coyotes Lifted My Spirts

by on January 13, 2010

Neighborhood Coyotes.

I woke up in a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad mood. The anticipated snow day did not happen, yet there was enough snow to make everything harder. The trip to school was slow and slippery, and my 13 year-old passenger’s mood matched mine. After my school run, I tried to come up with ideas to improve my day, but it was like trying to plan dinner when you are not hungry. Nothing sounds good. I thought about what my friends might do if they were grumpy.  Barbara would bead, Rachel would breathe, Isabel would try a new recipe,  Cynthia would Facebook, my mom would just press on, and Carol and Judy might seek out someone to torture just a little (the front-runner idea at that point in my game). I was on the verge of a major “What about ME?” whine, when I was struck with an AHA!  I decided I would grab my camera and head to the neighborhood cemetery.

It may sound odd to you, but I enjoy visiting cemeteries. Perhaps it’s in my DNA. My mom and her sister were often sent to play on their grandfather’s grave as children.  I was delighted that Joe shared my enjoyment, so we often wandered Chicago cemeteries and visited his mother’s grave from time to time. When Cole was about three, he raced around the cemetery blowing bubbles with his “grandmother up in heaven.” Just before we left, Cole took his bubble wand and put it on his grandmothers grave, in case she wanted to blow bubbles later.

When Cole started school, Joe routed their morning drive through Rosehill Cemetery. When I picked Cole up from school each afternoon, I loved hearing the stories of interesting tombstones, the number of coyotes spotted or how an owl grabbed an early morning squirrel or bunny snack before heading off to bed.  When I asked Cole if he was sad when the Owl flew down grabbed the squirrel and flew off for a squirrel breakfast, he gave me a stern cemetery lesson 101: Owls have to eat, too. I guess so.

Cemetery drives took on new meaning when Cole, desperate to take the wheel of the family car, concluded I should let him practice driving in the cemetery. Not a bad idea, I thought,  If he scares me to death, it’s convenient, and as Michael Gartner points out in his family story, Right Turns Only, who could he hurt?

Back to the story of ME and my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad mood. I took my grumpy self and my camera and headed over to the neighborhood cemetery, which is about ½ mile from our home. As I drove through the entrance, I could see the work of Father Winter. The snow was deep, crisp, and even. Tree branches drooped under the weight of snow that had not yet been blown off, and the winter fairies had been decorating with icicles. Tombstones boasted a splash of color from the occasional leftover Christmas wreath or bow.

The best part, however, was yet to come. I slowly followed the turns of the freshly plowed cemetery paths and was delighted to see two beautiful coyotes romping and playing, rolling in the snow and engaged in a game of tag. It was so engaging to watch first-hand, that I didn’t capture a picture of their play, but I did catch a few pictures reflecting both their beauty and curiosity at being watched.   They were wily and fun, and when they decided they had enough of my curiosity, they loped off and disappeared.

As I left the cemetery, I realized my grumpy mood had vanished.  My spirits had lifted.

Glad you were in my Odd neighborhood. Feel free to drop by any time. Odd Loves Company and odd loves you and you and you!! I would love to hear from you in the comment section of this blog, or on Facebook or Twitter!

Katybeth

{ 12 comments }

Isabel

love the pictures! It is so true — a grumpy mood can often be kicked by engaging in some creativity! Besides a little cooking, I, too, take my camera out into the garden (though that’s usually only when there *isn’t* snow on the ground), or make a toy or — as we did over break — draw on the windows with the wax-o-glass crayons (; ) ). I think our innner artist is often the salvation of our souls. Thanks for the good read. (and remind me to tell you one day the story of Sam’s first time behind the wheel — I only wish it was in a cemetary. . .)

Marcie Jensen

I love this article. What a perfect way to change a mood. Animals have such a wonderful way of teaching us what’s important.
MJ

Katybeth Jensen

Isabel,
Looking forward to hearing about Sam’s adventure–or would it be your adventure?

erika

I love this (and the Alexander reference 🙂

Katybeth Jensen

Thanks MOM!

Katybeth Jensen

Erica–I was so relived I did not have to move to Australia (I was pretty sure you would get that one–and you did not disappoint!)

Adelaide Gracza

This was a wonderfully well writen and uplifting piece. Your pictures are great! I love the fact that mother nature knows what we need, and finds a way to give it to us. We just need to see what’s there in front of us. Katybeth you have a way of seeing what most people overlook. Thank you for allowing us to see it too.
Adelaide

christy

Katybeth,

I saw on Facebook you signed up for a photography class at CPC. I’ve taken courses there, and loved every minute. I can’t wait to see all the other discoveries your eyes capture through the lens.

Katybeth Jensen

Thanks Adelaide. Its so true about Mother Nature. It never ceases to delight me that she stays in touch even in the “big city.” You expect to say hi in the Bosque but not so much so in Chicago.

Katybeth Jensen

Hi Christy!
I thought that was the class you had taken. It came up for 1/2 price on Groupon so I grabbed it even tho I am looking towards the Spring or Fall. It sounded like fun and the instructors seem to be more than willing to meet you were you are–which technically for me–is the very beginning!

pam matthews

I am in and out of Rosehill all the time, as I have family there and I live a block away. I admit that being there most of the time has nothing to do with visitation…I just love that place! I am amazed that you were able photograph the coyotes, they are usually quick to retreat.
I visit one just about everyday in the timber/wetlands area on the Western Ave. side. I usually take a dog biscuit or duck jerky (a favorite) but have to leave it on the ground and drive away a bit before she comes out. She (?) seems to wait for me as it’s always at the same time. I know it’s forbidden, but I am not the only one. The hawks are pretty amazing also.

Katybeth Jensen

Hi Pam,
Rosehill was our introduction to the coyotes and they are just so wonderful. They seem to be thinning out for awhile at Rosehill and we were all sad. Recently we have seen one our way to my son’s school. Hawks and Owls. Just amazing.
The coyotes in my blog posts are actually from a much smaller neighborhood cemetery by our home. The roads are much closer to there playground area and it is possible to get pretty close. They don’t show up often tho–must have been the lure of new snow.
Thanks for dropping by Odd…its nice to meet readers who love nature as much as I do!
Katybeth

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