Coyotes and other wildlife in Mountain City

Back when “Montage” started in 1997, frequently “a little city out in the country” appeared. Later, the term evolved into “a little city that’s still somewhat out in the country.”

Coyotes, roadrunners and raccoons count towards moving the meter towards “country.”

Ralph and Marcia McClendon, right smack dab in the middle of Live Oak Drive (for Mountain City, a busy street), came out to a gruesome sight Saturday morning. Right in the middle of their front lawn was the carcass of a slaughtered White-tail fawn, torn wide open with the organs missing except for the stomach that was tossed aside.

With the help of Jonah Evans, TPWD mammologist, and Mark Jones, County Commissioner and rancher, Mayor Ralph confirmed that the remains were typical of a coyote kill.

According to Evans, “I think we can probably rule out a mountain lion or bobcat for the following reasons: 1) in an open area and wasn’t dragged into the underbrush and 2) has not been covered in debris. A very high percentage of lion kills are covered and they are almost all drug to a protected area for feeding.”

Almost beyond belief to those of us on almost solid limestone, by early afternoon Ralph had buried the carcass. Ralph found a good spot in his old garden area.

Donna Helm on Pecan, just across 2770 from the undeveloped business sites in the City of Mountain City, finds coyote scat in her backyard.

Donna posted on Facebook a photo of a roadrunner carrying a mouse. I asked for more.

“I was sitting in the porch swing with my 3 youngest grandchildren. Savannah, Sydney and Stratton Helm. Sydney saw the roadrunner carrying a mouse first. It was hard keeping them still so I could get the pictures. This roadrunner has red shadow on its eyes. It’s a pretty thing.

We watch butterflies, caterpillars and dragonflies, hummingbirds, hawks and buzzards, listen to song birds, and water our flowers that we planted Easter weekend.”

RonTom and I have recently trapped six raccoons and two opossums, while trying to trap feral cats and kittens in a live trap baited with cat food.  Patricia Porterfield put in an order for a “possum” for “Patricia’s Garden”; RonTom delivered.

Patricia says possums eat snails. They also eat tons of ticks. And, they do not carry diseases.

“Patricia’s Garden” on Maple is amazing, filled with native vines, plants, shrubs and trees. It fills most of the backyard, with a peaceful winding path meandering through the space. Her large spread of standing cypress, tall spires with red flowers, took my breath away on Garage Sale Saturday (1st Saturday in June.)

Standing Cypress is supposed to be deer resistant. But, when I transplanted some awhile back, the very next morning the blooms were nipped away.

Beware booklets and lists that show “native” plants.  A close look may reveal the inclusion of “adapted plants.” More on natives … later.

Now is a good time to send a tidbit. I’ll be grateful, and so will readers. Thanks!  Love to you, PTom

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