A Close Encounter: Hump Day Haiku

A Close Encounter

Hunched, gray, red and white.
I thought you were a large fox.
Wild grace, coyote.

Since mid-December, I have been hanging my hat in Norther California after a three-year stint in Vancouver, Canada. I didn’t know how much I had missed this area. The rolling green hills, the bay, the people, and of course, the wildlife. As mentioned previously, I love birds, and recently, I have taken to photographing the species I run across in my area. In order to add to my growing stash of images, I decided to hike around Deer Island in Novato to see if I could capture some new birds. I ran into more than I bargained for.

I have tried to ID this little guy with no luck.
I have tried to ID this little guy with no luck.

Right after hiking into the tree cover, a little something fluttered by me, landing in the trail and posed. Then, about the mid-point of the trail, I rounded a bend to come, almost literally, face-to-face, what I thought was, a large fox. I mind immediately went to fox because one had been visiting the backyard to nibble on fallen birdseed, but this was no fox.

We stared at one another for a second, both sizing the other up. My four-legged hiking buddy regained his/her composer first and lopped off into the trees for cover. I watched its collie-sized body and giant busy tail, paralyzed, my camera forgotten at my side.

Backyard Gray Fox, Novato 2016
Backyard Gray Fox, Novato 2016

I later told my husband that I had run into another fox on the trail, but this one was way bigger than the one we’d watched from the safety of the kitchen window. This one was must have been a fully grown adult while the other had to have been a juvenal.

Later, I looked up foxes in the Northern California area to find that these cute faced critters were nothing like what I had encountered. Red foxes are adorable, to say the least, and their larger, gray cousins max at about 12 inches in height. What I had run into was, in fact, a coyote. Luckily, it didn’t know I was more afraid of it than it was of me.

A/N: sorry for the tardiness of this post. I started tinkering away at other things last night, and completely forgot to write this. If I had, this would have been a very different haiku and write up. I still would have though my encounter was with a fox and not a coyote. Also, if someone out there knows what kind of bird that is pictured above, please be kind enough to drop me a line in the comments. Even if you don’t know what it is, drop me a line anyway. I would love to hear from you. Cheers!

Cynthia Varady

Cynthia Varady

Cynthia Varady is an award-winning freelance writer and co-owner of the book review website, DuelingLibrarians.net. She currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son. Cynthia has her BA in English Literature from Sonoma State University, and her Masters in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University. Occasionally, Cynthia can be found voicing characters in casual video games, including Stella in the Aveyond series. She is presently working on a young adult fantasy novel.

2 thoughts on “A Close Encounter: Hump Day Haiku

    • Cynthia Varady
      August 18, 2016 at 9:24 pm

      For days, I thought I had run into a fox because one had been eating the birdseed in our backyard in the evening. Then I started looking up foxes. Coyote and Vulpes vulpes look very different when side-by-side.

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