We enjoyed the video–I love the way the fawn disappears.

Despite our need for deer-proofing everything we plant, we have quite a bit of understory growth here on the new place. I’m not sure why, because this place has been under cultivation off and on since the turn of the eighteenth century, it was clearcut in the West Virginia logging boom, and burned in the 1930 fire that burned a vast area of log companies’ leavings. It was also selectively logged in the 1970’s.

We have a large population of coyotes, which have displaced the feral dog population in the last couple of decades. Coyotes have driven most of the sheep farmers out of business here and in close-by southwestern Virginia. One of our neighbors, who is trying to keep his sheep, killed 55 coyotes in 2006, and still averages one a week. They are so fecund this hardly makes a difference.

While they help control deer, coyotes are a mixed blessing at best. They kill smaller, competing ptredators like foxes and badgers, and wipe out ground-nesting birds like grouse.

Do you have any thoughts on your apparent lack of coyote packs? In the 1990’s, when I still lived in Our Nation’s Capitol, we had coyotes turning up right downtown.