A close-up view of the head and shoulders of a coyote

My favorite coyote picture, taken over a year ago in January of 2012.

Coyotes have a complicated and controversial relationship with our modern world, and I’m not sure how this pack will fare now that subdivisions have replaced the meadows on the hills above the refuge. I see them near the road sometimes as I drive into town before sunrise, but I see them as roadkill too. And there will be conflicts with barbed-wire fences and dogs and cats.

But on this morning, as it hunted for voles with its mate, and as a few snowflakes began to fall, all was peaceful. Only the three of us were around, and since I stayed quiet in my car, they let me watch at my leisure as they worked the length of the dike.

A peaceful morning for me, if not for the voles.

Sam & Emma

A close-up view of the fur of our cats Sam and Emma as they snuggled

A shot from last fall of Sam and Emma.

The two are friendly but don’t often cuddle up like this, which is unfortunate since in the six weeks since Scout passed away, the ever-snuggly Sam has been on constant lookout to replace her affections. A lot of the time the two spent together they spent with me, so it’s not so much that he’s spending more time with me but rather that he wants to be up close rather than out on my legs, a favorite Sam spot since he was a wee kitten.

I don’t know if we’ll ever adopt another kitten in the hopes that the two will become close friends, just as he and Scout did five years ago, but in the meantime we’ve tried some commercially available Scout substitutes, such as

  • I Can’t Believe It’s Not Scout
  • Skout
  • Kiss Me I’m Scouttish

but so far none have worked.

For such a tiny little cat, she left a big hole to fill.