Friday, January 18, 2013


  1. I am pretty damned sure, from the bus window, I saw a coyote chasing a fox on Frankford Ave in the vicinity of Allegheny here in Kensington at around 7 this morning.

    I mean in the literal sense.

    By then I was fully coffee'd up, and was quite awake and aware of my surroundings.

    This is going to puzzle me for days now.

    Are there coyotes prowling the inner city here in North Philadelphia? And do they chase foxes (foxi? foxen?) on our pavements in the early morning hours, amidst the shadows of our unfortunately long-closed mills?

    I... I... I... I don't quite know what to make of this yet. I need time to think.

    1. Whoa, likely confirmation.

      In Pennsylvania, eastern coyotes have become more common than black bears, bobcats and otters over the past 30 years. How these animals live, where they came from, and what we should do about them are topics that are popping up more and more in conversations among Pennsylvanians every day.
      Once an animal automatically associated with the West, coyotes now live in every state east of the Mississippi River. In 2005, hunters and trappers harvested more than 20,000 coyotes statewide, according to agency Game-Take and Fur-Taker Survey results. They can be found almost anywhere: from the suburban sprawl surrounding Philadelphia to the remote ridges of the Alleghenies. There are few areas remaining in the state where coyotes aren't found.

      But don't expect to see or hear them regularly. This secretive canine prefers to operate under the cover of darkness - unlike its western counterpart - when there are fewer encounters with people. Coyotes - as well as their scat and tracks - are being seen more and more by hunters, hikers and other people who spend many hours afield.

      Few Pennsylvania mammals have an ancestral background as untraceable or a lifestyle as obscure as the eastern coyote's. Photographic evidence of coyotes in Pennsylvania first appeared in the 1930s. Their fondness for remote areas and scant numbers pretty much kept them out of the public's eye for decades, except for the occasional one shot by a deer hunter. That changed in the 1980s, when their population began to expand in leaps and bounds.

      I honestly never knew this before. I really did see a coyote (I know them from Oregon, I was so surprised because I know a coyote like I know the back of my hand and I knew there was no way I was mistaken in seeing this) here in my inner city North Philadelphia neighborhood earlier today, then!

      This fascinates me to no end. Pennsylvania coyotes, who knew?!

    2. Pennsylvania prairie wolves, OK.

      But Philadelphia prairie wolves?

      I knew that Philly could be a rough town, but sheesh!

    3. I guess 'urban prairie' isn't just a figure of speech. Our vast, sprawling abandoned mill districts really are going back to nature, eh?

      I should have taken a picture. It's a fantastic scene, actually. Somewhat post-apocalyptic, especially if I can get a shot with no people in it. Coyote chasing a fox through 6-foot tall weeds, with a massive 5-story paper mill with trees growing out of its windows as the backdrop.

      I am going to go hunt this fella down. Heh.