Coyote Burnout

Went out to get the paper at the head of the driveway and noticed coyote tracks. Seen ‘em before. No big deal.

Then, I thought: hey, coyote tracks used to be a big deal.

When coyotes started showing up around Chicago in the 1980s, I went looking for them. These animals were the stuff of cowboy movies. And now they were here.

...stuff of cowboy movies

But over the last few years, I’ve seen plenty of coyotes. One trotted across our yard a week ago. I’ve seen them from the car.

The excitement is gone.

I guess I’ve got coyote burnout.

On a river in Alaska, we saw so many eagles that the same thing happened.

I remember the first Bald Eagle I saw in the wild. It was in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula somewhere in the woods. Hell, it’s all woods up there. That eagle was a big deal.

But on the river in Alaska, after seeing about a hundred eagles, I wanted to get into our rattling old Jeep and head back to town for a beer.

Eagle burnout. Now: coyote burnout.

Is this the way things work? What other kind of burnout lies in wait?

Woods burnout? Will I get tired of going into the wild and hanging out alone by a river? I hope not. I like doing that.

Blog burnout? Will I get tired of doing this writing, and end it?

Ah, those coyote prints got me in a weird mood. Native Americans say the coyote is a trickster, and plays with your head.

Looks like even his prints can do the same thing.

9 Responses to “Coyote Burnout”

  1. Dan says:

    Canadians and Baldies and Fox. Oh my!!

    I grew up in NE Iowa in the 50s and 60s. One gigantic sterile corn field. I always wished I had been born either 300 miles north of there or 150 years earlier.
    The only time we saw wild geese was in the fall and when a rare flock flew into the county, at least two or three cars would be tracking it in case they landed in a field and could be then hunted. I got an adrenalin rush every time I saw a Canadian Goose. Eagles were even more rare. I spotted one in a local marsh when I was in high school and the local game warden had to actually see it to verify the sighting.
    Now I drive under three eagle nests when commuting through the city to work and our backyard is nearly ankle deep in goose poop in the summer. Am I burned out on them? Never! I still get a rush at seeing and hearing a flock of geese come into the pond out back. I will stare at a soaring eagle till he is out of sight and the fox, that sometimes show up in the neighborhood occasionally, gives me goose bumps.
    I think it is matter of what you learned to love as a child. My dad was a an avid outdoorsman and we hung out a lot together. My school buddies were all hunters and fishermen and loved the outdoors.
    I will never get bored with such things. I think that people who do never really have appreciated it in the first place.

  2. Ken G says:

    Just this morning I put a tongue-in-cheeck comment up on Facebook about seeing eagles in Yorkville on the Fox River. Yep, there’s another one.

  3. Two-Fisted Bird Watcher says:

    Joy Dingley is paraphrasing Samuel Johnson’s dubious idea that “when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.” Johnson had a right to this opinion, although it’s short-sighted and limited by the age in which he lived. Either that, or he had his head up his butt. In any case, Joy’s version about Bald Eagles is more appropriate for our purposes. Thanks, Joy.

  4. Joy Dingley says:

    Yes, sometimes we get restless for something new, something out of the ordinary. When I get like that I think of all the children I’ve shown a Mourning Dove through binoculars and it was the first time they’d really seen the bird. So I take a deep breath and pretend what I’m seeing is for the first time and try to shake off the bored old adult. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t but, and I paraphrase, “When a man is tired of Bald Eagles, he is tired of life.”

  5. norm schaefer says:

    A number of years ago my son and I were on a Canadian backroad near the Lake of the Woods. Down the roughly paved narrow 2 lane we saw what I thought was a large dog approaching. It was on the left side of the road looking for a meal in the form of roadkill, I suppose. As we approached each other it realized it was a wolf and a very LARGE one to boot. As we passed each other, he retreated nearer the thickets that lined the road. The look this monster gave us was straight out of Hollywood special effects!. His shoulders, height and muzzle size made him look like a creation from a horror flick. I know wolves will not attack humans, as the theory goes, but I would not like to have run up against this monster while outside my car! Talk about dark and sinister…. Shadesof the latest Liam Neesin (sp?) film.

  6. Chad S. says:

    I got burned out, though only temporarily, on catching large-mouth bass on top-water tackle. A buddy arranged for him and me to fish a small lake owned by a rich doctor. The doc had hired professionals to feed and manage the place, and there were plenty of them. That morning, starting at a reasonable hour, I caught 52 bass. (Put them all back, of course.) Got burned out and never went back to such a lake. I still like to catch ’em in the wild.

  7. Tom Robinson says:

    I moved to south florida in 1991 and was really facinated by the sight of alligators, but there is no shortage of alligators down here and seeing them can be less rare than you might wish [in your swimming pool for instance]. I started this comment to cite alligator burnout, but after some reflection they can still be exciting to see. Try it from a kayak.

  8. Jim Brailsford says:

    How timely. I was just thinking this morning how exciting it would be to see a Northern Cardinal, a Mockingbird, a Carolina Chickadee, a Snowy Egret, etc. if they were not so common. I resolved to fully appreciate them anyway, and regard their abundance as a plus, not as a source of burnout.