As I walked out of a nearby canyon last week using the same trail where I reported having an encounter with a curious coyote, my nose detected gases given off by putrefaction. Somewhere nearby, bacteria were at work breaking down formerly living tissue to simpler matter, dispersing an organism’s worldly goods to its biological heritors.
To this we must all come. But who has come to it now, and where?
Walking deeper into the field of decomposition gases, I looked around, guessing what I would find. I was approaching the gravel pit, a dumping ground for domestic and wild animal carcasses and the scene of occasional war crimes of the sort some people commit against animals. It’s common to find coyote remains around the pit, along with elk and deer carcasses, tree prunings, the ashes of bonfires, articles of clothing, and aerosol cans—the residue of “huffing” parties. Continue reading “Degrees of Coyoteness”