A coyote in Diablo Lake
“That’s a cougar!” Well, maybe…We saw a brown blur slink over the crest of the island. Whatever it was, this was a big, brown mammal. One might say it was tawny. We had been paddling around Diablo Lake for a few hours and were now fighting the wind to get back to the Learning Center and some much deserved lunch, but our curiosity demanded that we pursue the mysterious animal that had somehow appeared on an island in the middle of a frigid lake in the shadowless sunshine of mid day.
With renewed energy we plowed through the waves and circled the island to find a large, fuzzy creature swimming surprisingly quickly aiming for the shore.We really thought it was a cougar and judiciously chose to give the animal plenty of room. Spotting the critter in the binoculars we realized this was no cougar, though cougars are known to swim when necessary. Its ears certainly looked bearish and late April is a good time to find bears emerging from their winter lethargy to begin foraging for food.
Having assured ourselves we weren’t in danger of a cougar leaping aboard our canoe we closed in on the wake of the, um, bear. As we paddled closer and the waves subsided a bit our canoe steadied enough to afford a solid look of the fuzzy creature with binoculars. Long snout, grayish-tawny coat: It’s a coyote! We paddled quickly to catch up and snapped some pictures of the swimming coyote. We neared the rocky shore just in time to snap a final shot of the critter climbing out of the water. The coyote gave us a quick look over its shoulder and took off into the forest.
Wow! Who would have thought I would spend my afternoon chasing a coyote in a canoe across Diablo Lake?Photos courtesy of Sarah Sutherland