Between the stone wall and the marsh, there is a blueberry barren.
Wild lowbush blueberries grow there.
I’ve been picking them by hand, separating the ripe from the unripe.
Where there are ticks and deer flies.
By the time my small basket isn’t even half-filled, I’ve had enough and go back to the house.
Then the next day I go back for more. They are the most delicious blueberries I’ve ever eaten.
Others also think that they’re delicious. Today we had three quiet and polite guests.
The first one had a crescent of white on it’s back.
The second had a white chest. The third was stout and had large ears.
They arrived one after another; as one faded into the woods, the next appeared, so there wan’t a crowd.
Coyotes are omnivores, so I wasn’t surprised to see them eating berries rather than hunting for the small animals that live in the field. But I was surprised to see how dainty and charming they looked while foraging. It’s likely that the berries are as much a treat for them as they are for me. It’s also likely that it’s as much work for them to eat their fill – none of the coyotes stayed for long.
Like me, the coyotes didn’t make a dent in the amount of blueberries in my front yard. There are plenty to share. I’m eager to see who else wants to take part in this harvest.
Photos of the coyotes were taken by Steve Golson. Shot with an iPhone through a 25x spotting scope from a distance of 350 feet.
Terry, I’m sure you’re familiar with the delightful and enduring children’s book “Blueberries for Sal.” I’m expecting one of your future posts to feature a bear or two.
Your coyotes look much healthier and happier than our scraggly urban Los Angeles denizens, who mostly subsist, apparently, on small rodents and errant pet cats. Having a flock of hens keeps me from embracing their presence as much as I’d like to.
I’m loving your posts from your new neighborhood. Amazing that all those species co-exist in close proximity (Turtles! Coyotes!)
Oh, yes, we’re expecting bears! 🙂
wow steve’s longdistance closeup photos are amazing. How sweet to be visited by one, two, and then a third wild animal who all know each other, come out of the woods one at a time, and are there to enjoy eating blueberries in the sunlight.
What was so interesting was that each coyote not only was physically different, but they each had their own distinctive way of eating and journeying through the landscape. Individualistic animals!
I’m not so good at sharing. I have netting around a half-dozen highbush blueberries, planted by previous residents at my farm. I have them protected because the deer would eat them to the bone if I didn’t, like they did the raspberry canes I planted. But this year, a raccoon got in and consumed its share…probably over a gallon of berries, based on what I’d been picking on previous days. And it broke limbs to the ground. Unripe berries were left strewn under what remained of the bushes. I’m not so good at this kind of sharing.
Raccoons are NOT polite guests. At my previous house, when all I had were high bush blueberries, I, too, tried to protect them from deer, raccoon, birds, etc. I was about as (un)successful as you. But here, the plants go on for an acre and all I’m able to do is collect a handful a day, so the more “farmhands” the merrier!
Thank you for sharing. Loved the coyotes in the blueberries. Your taking it slowly post inspired me.
It’s always gratifying to hear that a post that I wrote was inspirational. Thanks for letting me know!
So great Turtle Hill is a land where animals and humans can share ! Beautiful pictures of the coyotes, didn’t know about that *lens* for a phone… and blueberries are a trademark of Maine… easy to see why ! the ticks are now found everywhere… so nasty !!! glad you dress for protection ! can’t wait to see the bears LOL ! Would love a taste of those wild blueberries…
Thanks for sharing !
Getting the photos was tricky. Basically, you hold the iPhone up to the viewing lens of a spotting scope.
Absolutely stunning. big thank you to Steve great pics, will ask Jess if she knows about doing that with iPhone, one of her exams is photography and the bits that go with it. Your new place is amazing so much wildlife to see and more to come. Keep Scooter safe, hope you sorted out problems with house. All the best. 🙂
We’re very careful with Scooter! He’s always under supervision and on leash 🙂
Amazing photos. I am loving seeing and reading about your wild life.
Don’t have blueberries much here, but we have blackberries, and share them with bears and chiggers.
And worse, for some reason rattlesnakes like to hang out among the briers.
And I just wondered, does that natural area have hiking trails you could use if you wanted to see a different part than in front of your house?