Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Coyote & Apollo In The Headlight

I had gone to town today for some supplies and to make a much needed phone call to the states to my wife.  The sun was already an hour over the horizon and well into darkness as I drove down the winding dirt road back to my camp.  I’ve always enjoyed driving the dirt roads of Baja at night for the plants and cactus take on interesting forms in the headlights.

I’d been on the dirt road for about a ½ hour and Apollo was doing his usual 8 mile run to camp  from the highway.  Apollo was running in the light of the headlights about 150 feet in front of the Samurai.  He likes to lead the way whenever he is running.

We were going along at a good pace, about 12 mph when out of the right side window I spotted something running in the faint light from the headlights.  It was a coyote gaining speed on the Samurai  and then when it passed me it slid into the direct light of the headlights and started running about 20 feet behind Apollo.  Apollo had no idea the coyote was behind him, I guess because of the noise of the engine and plus coyotes make no noise when they run.  The coyote stayed running in the headlights for about 30 seconds just behind Apollo, I guess he must have thought Apollo was a coyote.

Then all of a sudden Apollo realized the coyote was behind him and spun around and then the chase was on.  Apollo went bazerk and took off after that coyote into the darkness.  I kept driving and then back came the coyote across the headlights with Apollo hot on its heels.  The coyote did a 360 around the Samurai and back across the headlights once again then disappeared one last time into the darkness.  I kept driving and soon Apollo was back in front again as if nothing unusual had taken place, while I sat thinking of how cool that show was.  We got back to camp and Apollo got a couple of extra biscuits for that one.

An Unusual Connection With A Bobcat

Roberta was out on a midday bike ride with Apollo.  They were about a mile and a half from camp.  It was a nice clear warm October day in Baja.  Apollo hadn’t seen any coyotes to chase so Roberta and Apollo were just cruising along enjoying the day.  All of a sudden Apollo took off like a bolt of lightening and it took a few seconds for Roberta to see what Apollo was chasing.  Much to her surprise it was a bobcat that Apollo was after!  Roberta watched for a few seconds thinking Apollo was just on a good chase with no chance of catching the bobcat but she soon realized Apollo was gaining on it real quick.  Then all of a sudden Apollo caught up with the bobcat and rolled it over under him with the bobcat upside down looking up at Apollo and Apollo was straddling the bobcat looking down at it.  The Roberta screamed at the top of her voice, NO APOLLO NO!!!  This was a very interesting moment between Apollo and the bobcat.  For neither of them made an aggressive move towards each other, they just stared at each other for a moment, then the bobcat slowly took it’s front paw and slowly pawed at Apollo, not aggressively but more as if to express a (Wow, that was a pretty darn good chase there pal, I’ve never been tackled before). Then slowly Apollo stepped off the bobcat.  

What was really interesting is Apollo made no aggressive move at the bobcat either, after he caught it and the bobcat could have easily disemboweled Apollo with it’s claws.  So Apollo slowly stepped back and the bobcat rolled up on it’s feet and Roberta called for Apollo and both the bobcat and Apollo went their separate ways.  To this day it sill intrigues me as to why the bobcat and Apollo took that passive connection while they were just starring at each other.