Coyote Monitoring & Online Nature Study Class

Nature study w_text

Ages ago – back before the calamitous year of 2013 – I had begun work on a coyote monitoring project to track and record the movements of our local coyotes. Although I didn’t get far in my initial endeavor (2013 happened), I’ve started working on this project again and will be blogging my observations and data over the next several months.

Relatedly, I’ve been mulling over the idea of an online class that guides participants through 6 – 8 weeks of nature study/observations in their own backyards (or other self-chosen spots). Taking folks through my process of observing nature in this monitoring project would be a great way to start my class.

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For Friday the 13th: A Trip to the Lizzie Borden Museum & Bed and Breakfast

Lizzy Borden B_BI love Friday the 13th. I was born on a Friday the 13th and 13 has always been my favorite number. Although we didn’t take this trip on a Friday the 13th, I thought this article would be fun to share today.

Yes, there actually is a Lizzie Borden Museum and Bed and Breakfast. It’s located in Fall River, MA and my cousin took me and my aunt there a few weeks ago. It is indeed the house that the Bordens lived in, where the father and step mother were murdered – allegedly by Lizzie – and where Lizzie went back to live with her older sister after her acquittal in the murder¬† trial. You can stay there in any of the bedrooms that the Bordens lived in, or in one of the few bedrooms created for the B & B after the current owner bought the property. Creepy.

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Category: weird · Tags: , ,

New Page In the Eastern Coyote / Coywolf Section at Withywindle Nature

comparisonI was reviewing the Eastern Coyote information that I’ve gathered and shared over the years, and realized recently that it was missing a concise history of canines in the northeastern US. I’ve covered most of it in several different blog articles, but I want it to be more accessible and all in one place.

So I’ve put together a new page: The History of Coyotes and Wolves in the Northeastern US. The history page, like the rest of the pages in the Eastern Coyote section, will get updated and added to as I gather more information.

Knowing the history of a species helps us understand its present niche in the habitats and ecosystems they inhabit. Combined with ecological knowledge and how to live safely around them, we get a fuller picture of the species and how they interact and manage to live around human habitations. To quote Baba Dioum:

For in the end we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught.



Prehistoric Coyotes

Image source:

Image source:

This is so cool: I found a write-up about prehistoric coyotes – specifically a species called Johnston’s Coyote (Canis lepophagus) or the Hare-Eating Wolf. I’m going to share directly from the article as this is way out of my area of expertise, and is far more informative than I could manage in my own summary.

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Category: natural history · Tags:

Differentiating Wild Canine Tracks from Domestic Canines


Photo source:

In a post about a tracking workshop I led a few years ago, I briefly mentioned how to differentiate coyote scat from that of a domestic dog’s. However scat isn’t always present when you’re tracking – you may have to backtrack a canid for a while before coming upon scat or other scent posts or leavings. Thankfully though, telling the difference between tracks from wild canines vs. domestic is pretty straightforward. Most of the time.

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