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Friday, December 17, 2010


There might be one in my suburban neighborhood. My next door neighbor believes she saw one. She's an intelligent, level-headed woman, and I take very seriously anything she says. Still, she's not at all an experienced outdoors person, so I reserve judgment.

Twice in the past week on separate occasions my wife Pam and I got a glimpse of what was either a coyote or an unusually large fox. Foxes have been common around here, so we're used to seeing them. What I saw seemed bigger than the foxes we see, but I really didn't get a good enough look for a positive identification. Pam feels the same about what she saw.

A couple of years ago in the parkland across the street I got into a conversation with a woman who said she saw a coyote in the park. Based on other things said, she seemed to be fairly knowledgeable about the outdoors and the the critters that live there. The park is partly developed with ball fields and tennis courts but is also partly wild. Also, it adjoins another park which extends quite a ways along Paint Branch Creek and joins other parks cumulatively creating a wildlife highway through the suburbs.

There have been sightings of coyotes, I believe, in all Maryland counties, so it is more than possible I have them nearby. I'd like to know for sure. While I'm not much of a tracker, I've been studying up in hopes I can learn to differentiate among dog, coyote, and fox tracks. This snow might help but it's melting today. I think I'd better go out now and take a walk to look around.

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