First of all, welcome! It’s a big day today because not only am opening this blog, I’ve chosen to do it in conjunction with another special occurrence today, my birthday.
You would have to go back six years to find the origins of this blog. At that time, my brother and mother were involved in a tragic car accident. For three weeks I stayed at my brother’s side while he decided whether to join us back on this side of the curtain. During that time my only real form of communication was a hastily designed hacked out blog on GeoCities. Since I could only spend twenty minutes every two hours in the intensive care, I wrote in the blog. Through it I learned just how powerful of a communication tool it could be.
My brother and my mother went on to recover. I went on to write in a Livejournal account for many years and then to host my other blog, Frontier’s Horizon. Frontiers focuses on virtual worlds and how they are interacting and impacting the social arenas around us. Lately, its been about having fun and telling stories. Through my time with that blog, I’ve riden in teacups, scaled dangerous cliffs, defeated supervillains, and floated amongst scenery both colorful and inspiring.
However, here lately, I’ve been having an urge to talk about something else, something very real.
Three months ago I moved from a country setting where my family enjoyed whitetail deer sleeping under our bedroom windows, coyotes howling less then a mile away, and raccoons living along our driveway. Hummingbirds, woodpeckers, and mockingbirds ate from our front lawn. Every evening, during dinner, we were treated to an amazing sunset. I’ve been in the country most of my life. I had a fly rod in my hand at the age of five (as well as a camera.) I trekked up and down numerous miles in the hills of Southern Indiana, gotten lost in a national forest, swam with copperhead snakes, lived in a yurt, and laid in mud at the edge of a creek because I was curious what I would see. Since I was young, I’ve always been fascinated by the natural world around us. For some reason, until now, I’ve never felt compelled to write about it.
This recent move took us into the downtown area of a nearby college town. Luckily, the town is known for its green spaces and I would be three blocks from a large city park. I had lived in-town before but after our latest experience with country living, I was sure I would miss the close connection to Nature. I was surprised to note it didn’t affect me nearly as badly as I had previously thought. In fact it was as if I’d never left the country, as if I had somehow found how to carry that connection with me everywhere I went. Any sense of forlorn loss was marginal at best.
It was during the first few weeks as I explored my new neighborhood that I came to realize that Nature was all around us. Constantly. I started to see red-tailed hawks and turkeys on my way to work. I encountered a raccoon on my afternoon walk. I witnessed a wonderful snow filled sunrise. The connection was easy, it had never gone away. It was just a matter of looking for it, seeing it, and, most importantly, acknowledging it.
The name of the blog comes from a creature I am particularly fond of; the American coyote. Many have heard the Native American stories of Coyote as a trickster. I enjoy these and, although I lean on them heavily from time to time, my true fondness and respect for the Coyote grows not out of it’s mischievousness but out of it’s uncanny ability to survive in almost any situation. And, to not only to survive, but thrive. Hunters, farmers, and natives all have stories of how the intelligent and tricky coyotes act in the wild. Since colonial times, it’s been attempted to hunt the Coyote out of areas in the United States however each time it meets with little success. Somehow, someway, the varmint figures out how to survive. So, the title of this blog honors not only the creature’s resilience but it’s spirit and, just perhaps, a certain way of looking at the world around us.
Over the posts ahead I’ll be talking about a wide variety of things; Nature, outdoor skills, survival, spirituality, and, as I can have them, adventures out and about. I’ll be carrying on about my hobby of geocaching too, so be forewarned. I’ll be sharing my photography here too. I’m hoping to get posts out at least once a week and, if I’m persistent enough, grow towards three times a week by the end of next year.
My goal with Coyote Watches is to help all of us take a deeper look into our awareness and connection to the natural world around us. I feel a lot of us, even in the new revolution of “going green”, have forgotten this and how much we’re connected and interwoven to it. In a way, it’s about refinding magic that we have forgotten or maybe just misplaced. Whether you live in a rural setting, the woods, or in a downtown apartment, Nature is all around you. You may forget about it but it’s not going to go away.
As a magnet on our family fridge says, “Nature always bats last.”