Tag Archives: nap

Introducing Coyote

Sleepy is a portrait of a sleepy coyote looking over his shoulder to see what I’m all about. Obviously, I seem to have slightly disturbed him from his morning siesta. It was a generally hot day so he had already found a nice cool spot in the shade to sleep off his early morning breakfast.

This shot was a real challenge for me. When I saw this magnificent animal he was laying in the shade under a tree behind a chain link fence. Going up to the fence to take the shot was out of the question and the fence was too high for me to prop the camera over it.   So, I had to use the manual focus on my lens and stand at just the right focal distance from him to clearly focus his body and yet not see the fence between us.

The Coyote is a member of the canine family is found all over the United States and Mexico. In Texas, they are a common sight in rural areas and at night you can sometimes hear them howling and yapping. They stay away from people generally, but because of incursion of habitat and urbanization of creek beds and forested areas have caused them to have more contact with humans.

They have also learned that it is easier to hunt for the food people throw away and not try to catch their normal diet of rodents and rabbits. Once they have a taste for scavenging trash bins, it is very difficult to get them to stop.

While they pose no real danger to a human, in fact they usually run away, the real danger comes when a pet owner lets their cute Pomeranian outside at 3 am. Lap dogs, toy breeds, and even some cats are a menu item for coyotes. There is a real chance they may end up eaten if a hungry coyote sees them.

A coyote will not usually attack a larger dog and unless it threatens them. They are even known to attempt mating with them. The result is a coyote mixed breed. It’s relatively rare but it has happened. There are rumors in southern states that wolf and coyote mixes have begun to appear. This has caused a lot of concern for farmers and the well-being of the livestock.

Not this guy though. Our friendly coyote is more concerned about napping than anything else.

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Naps: Does She Know Something You Don’t?

It’s pretty obvious that I came around to take her picture after breakfast. This female gorilla decided that, having enjoyed a packed breakfast of fruits and leaves, it was time to take a little morning nap.

Their natural diet in the wild includes berries, leaves, fruit, and even insects and small animals. After rising at dawn to partake of breakfast, it is not uncommon for gorilla groups to nap away the morning hours while the young spend their excess energy playing and socializing with each other.  Maybe they know something we don’t?

Naps are well-known to refresh the mind, give yourself energy and relieve anxiety.   It’s possible we might learn something from our distant cousins in the primate family tree. Naps are good for us!

Primates always interest me because so often it’s like looking into a simplified version of human behaviors.   Often, Naptimewe humans will act the same way they do, only our behaviors are so wrapped up in ritual and meaning we don’t really notice it. For instance, the older I get, the more I see the wisdom in this “naptime” activity.  Seriously, what adult has not fantasized about taking a nap after lunch?

Life is difficult when you’re a gorilla. If you’re not eating, you’re sleeping, putting off the amorous advances of the silverbacks or having to put up with those pesky juniors running everywhere. Those teenagers are just as bad. Imagine a juvenile with the strength of a  300 lb. linesman and an attitude to boot.

Then there is all the grooming and socializing with other members of your group. The females will sit for hours reestablishing social connections with other females and even the silverbacks by the use of touch or grooming for pesky lice or ticks. They also nurse and care for the young and teach them to forage for food.

So, worn out from the earlier day’s activities, our friend lies quietly in her day nest slumbering away the mid morning hours while nearby an older male silverbacks watches with passing curiosity anything that happens in his territory.

As for our slumbering beauty, she sleeps soundly in the warm morning sun completely unconcerned about the events that go on around her, probably dreaming of lunch.

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“Gorilla.” Primates: Facts. Smithsonian National Zoological Park, n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2014. <http://nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/primates/facts/fact-gorilla.cfm>.