About ten days ago, I went on a basic walkabout that ended up netting me a whole series of photos that I've had fun sharing. This is the last of that series - and I apologize, in advance, for the indelicate subject matter. I found it interesting, though, and it's certainly an important part of real life!
On my Sunday morning walkabout, I came across some indisputable evidence - once again - that we share our property with coyotes. In the gateway between our Back 5 acres and the front area, I came across a significant pile of coyote scat. (That's biological talk for poop. It sounds much more professional to talk about scat, though.)
The scat seemed to be moving, which piqued my curiosity, so I looked at it a bit more closely.
Dung beetles are important decomposers. Despite its "ick" factor, their lifestyle literally helps clean up the world and recycle "waste" nutrients.
As I tried to get photos of the tumblebugs, I couldn't help but notice that the coyote scat was full of grasshopper parts. Note the grasshopper abdomen just above the tumblebug in the photo above, and the broken piece of grasshopper hind tibia to the right of the beetle. One of the best ways to learn what a wild animal is eating is to examine their droppings. This coyote was evidently gorging on grasshoppers, a fact that makes me particularly happy. This coyote is welcome to come and eat as many grasshoppers as he or she wishes, every day, all day.
Also on this pile were several house-fly sized flies that, nonetheless, looked a little different from "normal" flies.
There was one other insect on this pile of scat, a very small, irridescent fly - or actually several of them. I never could get a good enough photo to identify it at all.
This is as good a photo as I could get of the small fly, which isn't good enough for me to identify it without some good guess as to what I'm looking at.
As a final note, when I did another walkabout on Thursday morning, 4 days later, this is all that remained of the coyote scat. If I hadn't know it was there from Sunday, I would have completely missed it.