Last night I was awakened by an ambulance's wail, followed by an unearthly series of howls rising from the street and into my open window. I jumped up and looked out in time to see two coyotes loping down Finley, taking their time, on their pre-dawn patrol for pets, garbage, and maybe a rat or two. There must have been more out of sight, because the howls and barks that greeted the siren were definitely the work of more than two coyotes.
This was very cool. I've seen (and heard) coyotes in Griffith Park on plenty of occasions, and I know that the city supports a population of thousands of the wily varmints. But this was the first time I'd actually seen them down in the flatlands. They must have crossed Los Feliz Boulevard, not easy even for the most adept human jaywalker.
I watched as one sniffed the grass, and the other stopped in the middle of the street, his head slightly raised, ears erect, before they both moved on. They were in view for just a few moments, and then were gone into the darkness under the trees of New Hampshire Ave., with only the shivery memory of their howls trailing behind them.