Goose, Lindo Lake © Robert Sommers 2020

Saturday, July 18, 2015


I was driving out of the valley yesterday morning and I saw a huge vulture perched on the telephone pole by the mailbox. In near thirty years I had never seen one there. Odd. I decided to stop and take a picture.

Honestly the guy was so big, I thought it could be a condor when I first drove up.

Actually the California Condor used to be thick in my area, the local Pala Indians incorporated it into their religion and magic.

I have read 18th century field guides where anthropologists reported the local curandero even wearing a condor feather robe in the ceremonies.

By the way, the published notes say they would rub the root of jimson weed on their feet to give themselves the magic ability to fly. Would tell you something else but you probably wouldn't believe me so I won't.

Today I saw a huge group of vultures a little farther down the road.

I got out of my van to investigate and a great putrid stench instantaneously overcame me.

A few feet from me lay what was left of two coyote carcasses, now dismembered and partially desiccated. It was all I could do to not gag.

I think I know what happened. Last week, one late afternoon, our afternoon peace was disturbed by a cacophony of bullets in the Santa Margarita River valley. It went on for at least a half hour and we were worried. Both Les and I yelled at them to knock it off. Seemed really close. Dangerous.

One, bullets can travel a long ways and it sounded like a high caliber rifle. Didn't want to get hit or have anyone else I care for to get hit. Two, the chaparral is dry and it doesn't take much for a bullet to strike a rock and start a fire.

I called the neighbor and got a lecture about the beauty of the second amendment and kids being kids. So I gritted my teeth and attempted to chill out. When your second amendment rights burn my house down, we got problems. I thought there was no legal shooting west of Interstate 15. Neighbor says that has changed.

The next day I saw a tarp spread out over a makeshift structure on a nearbye ranch on Gavilan Mountain and figure that is where the shooters were mobilizing from. The coyotes were on Fallbrook Public Utility District land, at least they died there, right next to each other. Have to figure they were shot.

I have to figure the crazy shooters shot these coyotes. What some people do for fun.


Leslie said...

Bastards. Who the hell do those morons think they are? Who gave them permission to kill beautiful creatures that roam our valley. Shooting guns doesn't make you a man. Killing animals for no reason makes you even less of a man. I hope they never return to this special river valley. I am really mad. Grrrrrrrrrrr.

North County Film Club said...

The carcases made me gag but the shooters made me gag more !