Harvest days and coyote nights

After numerous reports of coyote sightings near the Medicinal Herb Garden, the time finally came to set up a camera in adjacent woods and hope the scent of several brands of dog food and dog treats made of lamb, beef, pork and salmon and far too many cereal fillers, would be enough to entice him or her close to be photographed. It was.

Testing…ok, camera works. Good.

Seems like s/he sees the slight glow of the infrared lights.

The lure is wrapped securely in hardware cloth and staked to the ground, so there’s no reward. It’s just another stop on the evening rounds.








So close and yet so far; it’s time to move on and find a real meal. So long, bright eyes.

The previous week, a can of tuna, punctured downward and nailed to the ground, was enough to warrant a closer look.

…and a little marking of the territory.







From early this morning, a pretty good profile shot. S/he seems to be getting comfortable with the camera site and the scent of humans is everywhere so that’s probably not a problem. In the wilderness it might be more difficult.

Along with several shots of a rabbit, a rat and several raccoons, another photo of a mysterious, unknown member of the weasel family, the Mustelidae, turned out to be a squirrel’s tail sticking upright through the ivy. Sorry, that photo was…um…accidentally deleted. Thank you to Jeff Bradley, mammalogist at the Burke Museum, for tactfully pointing out the obvious. To be honest, the mystery mustelid looked more like a sock puppet version of a mink (or maybe a marmot or a gopher), but the Nessie/Sasquatch/UFO effect of a black and white, grainy image on the imagination of an eager, hopeful viewer is powerful. Still, this early in the wildlife monitoring effort, it’s reasonable to maintain that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Hope dies last.

In plant news, the medlars (Mespilus germanica) are fruiting prolifically as they do every year. Why can’t all fruit trees be like that?

Good old medlars.

California wild grapes (Vitis californica) are abundant this year and they’re now ripe. May the birds spread their seeds to every weedy green space in Seattle. I’d rather have these vines than ivy or clematis growing into the tree canopy.

The fruit of the Chilean myrtle (Luma apiculata) are developing. Hopefully they can ripen in the cooler weather that’s approaching.








It looked like honey bees on the mao ye xiang cha cai (Isodon japonicus) but closer inspection revealed them to be hoverflies or drone flies (Eristalis tenax or something closely related). It’s absolutely maddening trying to get a focused picture of one. They barely land and they’re off again.

All show, no go. It’s a pretty convincing abdomen but there’s no stinger.

Trifoliate orange (Poncirus trifoliata) ripened some fruit this year but also flowered  a second time after I gave it more water in midsummer. It produced another modest crop, all of which are still small and green.









Life Sciences Building will have all of its windows in soon. That should make the days a little better for the people working inside. It must be a bit of a wind tunnel in there on blustery autumn days.

Despite repeated grazing by rabbits, this royal catchfly (Silene regia) has managed to flower for the first time. Section F has been gnawed to nubbins by rabbits this year so it’s good to see something make it through.

Behold the progression toward maturity of some African horned cucumbers (Cucumis metuliferus) culled from the vines I tore down to plant crimson clover as a winter cover crop. The fruit furthest to the right is still not ripe, but, as you can see, the largest one has more smooth surface area and less that is horned. Fully ripened, they turn orange. But time ran out for these cukes.











It’s shaping up to be a good year for fall color. The cooler nights this week will help. If the heavy winds hold off until November, it could be quite a show. Do yourself a huge favor and get out and enjoy it while it lasts.






coyote trotting

at an easy pace all night

working the edges





See you in the garden.





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One Response to Harvest days and coyote nights

  1. Charles Westergard says:

    Keith, these are great photos!! The coyote especially. They are so adaptable to our human environment. Garden looks great too. Need to stop by.

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