The Natural World in These Parts This Week

Saw a beautiful coyote on a recent (unsuccessful) mushroom hunt. The coyotes I see every so often on the highway are a bit scuzzy looking, but this one was grand. Reddish shiny coat, black tail tip; he was big and had a princely profile like a fox.

Left: coyote scat, indicating a diet high in mice, gophers. Looks like an art object.

Going through Stinson Beach Tuesday a deer bolted down the road. Galloping, two front feet, then two rear feet alternately. Rippling front leg muscles. Powerful and healthy. Then that night, on my nighttime run by headlight, another coyote at the nearby farm. Ran away from me, then climbed to the top of a pyramid-shaped compost pile. The Joker.

This morning more varieties of birds than I’ve ever seen outside the kitchen window. Crows, doves, quail, robins, red-winged blackbirds. a Rufus-sided towee (little beauty), sparrows (ugh), and the ever-spooky rock pigeons. Cornucopia of feathered flight.

   Some years ago I had a series of dreams about flying. It wasn’t like I was just floating in the air. I had to run along, flap arms, and take off. So utterly real, still thrills me to think about it. I often watch (in envy) the elegant-in-flight turkey buzzards riding updrafts by the ocean cliffs, or a line of Pelicans just inches above the water, gliding on the updraft of breaking waves. Eat my heart out.

   Here are some Fluted Black Elfin Saddle mushrooms Lew gathered in Inverness, too far past prime to eat, but the only half-way decent fungi in the woods right now. C’mon rain! C’mon low pressure, which allows the storms to come in off the ocean.

Got my 15 hp Evinrude outboard motor tuned up. Billy and I are going clamming, musseling, and crabbing on Saturday in Tomales Bay. I have a 12′ aluminum Klamath boat. It’s a little dicey getting out through the ocean waves here with a boat that small, but Tomales Bay is a piece of cake. I’m dedicated to getting ever more food from the wild.

   Spring is peeking around the corner. The light is richer, green grass growing, plum tree budding out, red-winged blackbirds singing their Spring song. I’m a child of Spring, born in April, so I feel exuberant this time of year.

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

6 Responses to The Natural World in These Parts This Week

  1. No Coyotes in the UK but Lisa and I went for a walk along the coast today, saw a beautiful fox, very striking mask…probably been laid up for the afternoon in the scrub… mushrooms as yet but morels should be about in the next month or so!

  2. Last Saturday the wife and I were over in your neighborhood and the display of wildlife was spectacular. Plenty of birds around the wetlands and an amazing amount of deer driving out to the Palomarin trailhead.Yes we need the rain, time for the rain prayer ritual. Yours, Bob, Napa, Ca.

  3. It's the same here, just north of the CA-OR border in the Valley of the Rogue, State of Jefferson. Spring is just-about-almost ready to pop forth, but it's been 'way dry this season. Saw a mega-coyote just last week on a short terk through the woods up behind Jacksonville – coulda been a brother to the magnifico you described, Lloyd.

  4. Nice piece of writing Lloyd. thanks and you helped me identify the lovly looking "fox" that wasn't a fox but a Coyote. There's plenty of wildlife on the Mississippi….Eagles still here….but we all need the RAIN. happy day when it comes, Irene

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