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Wiley Post Whale Skull

Tuesday 02/24/2009 12:54 PM

Took this picture during our 30 minute flat tire break at the Wiley Post Memorial west of Barrow, way off the beaten track. You'll see whale skulls and bones all over the place in Barrow.

And in other news, I saw my first coyote in Tallahassee. Unfortunately, it was dead and stretched across a third of the left-most southbound lane of Capital Circle Northeast. This was last Saturday night and Candy and I were on our way to a Mardi Gras party. I doubled back to get it out of the road before it became a bloody mess.

To her credit, Candy said she thought it might be a coyote in the car. I wasn't sure what it was because I was driving and just saw enough of it to swerve a bit so I didn't run over it.

After u-turning and parking in a driveway a couple hundred feet south of cross street Exeter Drive, I grabbed a transparent garbage bag out of the trunk and then waited for the traffic to die down. Once the coast was clear, I crossed two lanes to get to the body, and with my hands inside the bag I grabbed the coyote's tail and dragged it back to the sidewalk.

Safe and off the road, I took a few minutes to check it out. It weighed about 50 or 60 pounds, had gray, bristly hair and it had never worn a collar. Definitely a coyote and I'm pretty sure it was a female. I reached out to touch her ribs and was surprised to find a thin layer of fat below her skin. The coyotes are eating good, and if they're crossing Capital Circle to come into the city, I can only imagine all the feasting possibilities.

The last thing I did was bag her head, and in doing so I realized her neck was broken. I don't think she ever knew what hit her, and that's good thing in my book.

Now I'm wondering if the gray foxes I've seen running across streets over the last year or two were not foxes (which are usually red in these parts), but were juvenile cayutes.

File Under: Alaska; Barrow; Candy; Coyote(s); Whale(s)
Music: U2 "No Line On The Horizon"

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