|West of Tortugas heading southwest
The animal was obviously distressed, looking this way and that for a missing something (mate, companion, offspring), all the while continuing with the whining and yipping. I had the distinct impression that it was grieving, in psychological pain over a significant loss. There are those who will accuse me of anthropomorphic thinking in assigning emotions to animals, but I've been fortunate enough to have had several canine companions, and I can say without reservation that they do have feelings. Why wouldn't Coyotes be endowed with emotion? After I got sidetracked momentarily taking photos of some Barrel Cactus specimens alongside a large arroyo, Becca and I tried to sneak closer to the Coyote. Our maneuver prompted the animal to leave. We didn't see it again, but on the inbound leg of our trek we heard its mournful wailing.
When I got home and inspected the long-distance photos I'd taken of the Coyote I realized it seemed rather young, and I recall reading that oftentimes a young trickster (1 or 2 years old) will be kicked out of the family unit and left to pursue life on its own. Is it possible that the emotion I identified as "grief" was actually "loneliness," and the yelps and cries were simply pleas for companionship?
|Becca pauses to see who's up on the mountain
|The distressed Coyote we tracked this morning
|It's definitely searching for something
|From a distance it looks to be pretty young
|Tortugas Mountain (left) and the Organ Mountains
|Well aware of our presence
|There's no sneaking up on a Coyote
|One last look before moving on
|Quite a distance from any beaten track
|There were large Barrel Cacti everywhere in this section of the "outback"
|Ring of flora
|Loaded with blossoms and buds
|Large Barrel Cacti in the outback
|Large arroyo (aka "dry wash") west of Tortugas
|No shrunken head, but the top of a fallen, decaying yucca
|Heading back in
|No--headless Yucca stumps