Piece of Mind: Coyote sightings and Twitter critter tips

My sharp-eyed husband has noticed the same young adult coyote traveling on our street at about 7 a.m. and again during the dinner hour at least several days a week this summer. Our guess is that he's literally doing circles on his search for food, as he's always moving in an easterly direction when we happen to see him around our neighborhood, between Angeles Crest Highway and Commonwealth Avenue.

While Gil has had the most encounters with the wild canine, I have seen him on a few occasions, most eerily one evening last week when I pulled into our driveway on returning home from the office. While, through the magic of remote control, the garage door was in the process of opening, I glanced in my rearview mirror and caught sight of the coyote.

He had paused at the apron of our driveway and seemed to be staring me down via the mirror. It felt a little like he was sizing up my Toyota for dinner, but of course it's far more likely he was hoping a smaller, tastier morsel would amble out from the garage and bring an end to that evening's hunt.

By the time my car was parked, the coyote, apparently having discounted the possibility that he would enjoy a good meal at chez Cormaci, had moved on. Nonetheless I quickly hit the remote to shut the garage door, clambered out of my carriage and entered the house.

Feeling slightly relieved that we'd dodged a potential family tragedy, I picked up the cat (who had been waiting in the kitchen in anticipation of his own dinner) to give him a hug.

He clearly hates to be held, but endures the experience for at least a few squirmy seconds when he senses a plate of food might be in the offing. Our cat is every bit as much an opportunist as the coyote is, but seems nearly oblivious to the possibility that he could ever be a predator's victim.

After having waxed on about local bear visits in my two most recent columns, I thought I'd give you a break this week and not bring up the same subject. So much for those good intentions: One of our photographers, Raul Roa, stopped by my desk today and pleaded with me to get the word out that he's on a La Cañada Flintridge bear hunt (photographically speaking, that is, no guns involved).

Earlier this week Raul asked me to show him on a street map the locations of all the bear sightings we've heard about in recent weeks. Together, we marked the spots with Xs and he circled those marks with a yellow highlighter pen. I offered some driving directions and showed him the outline of the trail most likely used by the wild visitor. The intrepid photographer took off on his shooting expedition.

So far, Raul's efforts have gone for naught. He seems downright dejected, and he wants our readers to know they can contact him at any time of day. And he'll take information about any kind of interesting wildlife you might see in our environs. “No squirrels or rabbits,” he told me, “but the interesting stuff. If they see bears, mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes or something weird like double-headed snakes, I want to know about it.”

He's started a Twitter account, @crittertips. He invites you to follow him and tweet away there. If you're more comfortable emailing him, send a note with all the particulars of your sighting to raul.roa@latimes.com.

If you'll be so kind, copy me, too, so I can participate vicariously. I'm good at armchair wildlife-watching — just way too chicken to get close to the action myself.

CAROL CORMACI is the managing editor. Email her at carol.cormaci@latimes.com.

Copyright © 2019, La Cañada Valley Sun
EDITION: California | U.S. & World