Last week I shuffled to the living room to open the blinds and invite in the sunrise.
I gasped when I saw a beautiful coyote resting peacefully in our front yard.
I beelined for my Nikon camera and snapped a few photos of this creature looking so at home and relaxed.
How are these animals representing exactly what we need right now?!
Yes, coyotes are a predator and of course that poses a risk for our chickens, cats etc.
If you know me, you're already aware I'm a chronic worrywart and my mind immediately goes to the worst case scenario, it's one of my most annoying attributes.
But for once my fear was overtaken by natural beauty.
I was able to look past the worry, the threat, and put myself in the coyote's shoes.
Try living in their world for a moment; their biodiversity is disappearing before their eyes and many species are simply trying to survive. They've been pushed into residential areas as a result of relentless California wildfires and general development. I hike the local hills and much of the habitat was wiped out, trees and brush have disappeared and will take years to regenerate.
For this reason I push my immediate fear aside and instead pause, listen and try to understand my fellow coyote.
My goal at Teaquila Farm is to keep our animals safe, healthy, and thriving, but I can also only control so much and I've accepted that reality.
Since the Wile E. Coyote drive-by, Chad and I have talked about building some additional fencing around the perimeter. When you commit to building biodiversity on your homestead, you're not only going to invite in wild animals that are beautiful and threat free, you're going to get a whole host of animals, and that's what makes it thrive.
Besides, this is when it starts to get exciting.
I was initially hesitant to post the coyote photo on Instagram. I was expecting a whirlwind of negative comments (likely stemming from fear) against the coyote, but I was pleasantly surprised at the responses.
Below is a sampling of some of the responses (thank you...)
It's easy to build a chicken coop or have domesticated cats and dogs, but coyotes popping through are next level.
I also understand many of our beloved pets have been lost to coyotes via the food chain / circle of life, so if you've experienced this personally, I'm sincerely sorry for your loss.
Our pets are our extended family members so losing our animals to the wild is never easy, and I want to be sure to acknowledge that here.
It's a great time to revisit the meaning of any inspirational animals you are drawn to, and if you believe in that sorta thing, invite in some of their energy or characteristics to help guide you on whatever journey you are on today!
I invite you to sit with a pen and paper for a few minutes and think about what that unique animal represents. Is it a whale? Bullfrog? Black stallion?
How does it relate to the season of life you are in now?
Below is a quick exercise to get you started. This may seem really juvenile, but tap into your 8 year old self because that self will totally be into it.
An animal I get inspiration from is:
This animal represents:
When I am looking up the meaning of animals, I often dig deep into Indigenous knowledge and wisdom. You can go about the exercise any way you like, but I find myself getting lost in beautiful stories that have been passed along between ancestors, and while I'm not Native American, I love to lean into learning from this community when resources are available and they are willing to share.
If you feel so inclined to share, send me a note and let me know what animal you are drawn to in the moment, and why!
Thanks for reading, cheers to continuing to build out biodiversity in our own backyards!