Last night, just at dusk, the coyote family emerged. Before it was always mom heading out first and then the pups, clearly disobeying orders, leaving the den and tumbling after. They'd explore for a minute and then vanish, race back to the burrow to await the grownups.
This time, though, it was everyone -- mom and dad and four pups, which is one more than we had seen before.
Mom and the pups waited below:
...while the dad stood at the top of the ridge:
As he took a little stretch:
...someone broke protocol:
And joined him.
I wonder whether their perch here at the edge of development is one of strength or one of weakness. Is it better to control territory deep in the hills, far from cars and dogs and humans? Or, in this time of drought, does proximity to lush landscaping and leaking sprinklers and the moles and voles and bunnies they attract trump peril and become the brass ring?