The cheerful sound of cricket song beckons me outdoors in the lingering warmth of late summer evenings and I plop myself down under a fig tree to soak it all in; apples ripening on their trees, and figs already sharing their deliciousness. The hydrangea blossoms are packing it in for the year, but in their dry state they will fill autumn vases for a month or so. Across the yard, the large orange tree has been warning me to harvest the fruit unless I want to pick it up off the brick patio. Raymundo promised to come and pick some Friday, but he never showed up. There will be more.

Reluctantly I return to the quiet house, loyal Charlie at my heels, ready for bed and wondering what I find so engaging in the nighttime garden.

The night grows deeper and Dr. Advice slumbers on. The crickets have gone to sleep and the only sound is the primeval yipping of coyotes conversing somewhere outside the garden enclosure. It is late in the year for pupping, but with the drought having depleted water supplies, maybe they are just thirsty. Though the sound is annoying, and I am happy to have Charlie safely indoors, it does not stir a flight response in me as the long mournful howl of a wolf would surely bring.


As an omnivore, coyotes have adapted to food sources all over the world, some food choices to our benefit.
To many Native American cultures, coyotes were powerful mythological figures venerated for their intelligence and mischievous nature. The Aztec name for the coyote was “coyotyl” which translates to “trickster”. The Navajo sheep and goat herders referred to the coyote as “God’s Dog”. I like that name better.

It’s the push and pull of the life force–cricket song inviting our participation, and coyote song pushing us into our own safe dens, allowing them to rule the night.