(Photo by Ty Smedes.)


My new series for Take Two began airing today. It’s about the wildlife in Southern California. Today’s story was about living with coyotes as neighbors. You can listen to it here:

Apparently, if you live near coyote-populated areas, you hear them every night. And they supposedly sound BONKERS. I found a homeowner who deals with this, and she let me come interview her. And then I sat in my car in her neighborhood, waiting and hoping to catch the coyotes sounding off.

If you’ve never gone on a stakeout, it’s illuminating. Whenever I’d see cop dramas in which people sit in cars watching their suspects, I’d always think it was stupid — that they were way too exposed in their vehicles. The truth is very few people look inside a parked car. At one point, someone pulled up right next to me and didn’t notice me or the enormous microphone stand I’d set up next to my door.

These are the things I wondered about while sitting in my car. I had a lot time to do it, because it took me FOUR attempts before I got the sound I needed. Finally, after hours of boredom and feeling like a creep, I managed to catch it. Here’s what it sounded like:

Totally worth it. Not really. But man, does that sound crazy!

Gotta say, I’m really glad I don’t have to deal with that. What’s worse, though, may be the big, scary canines treating your neighborhood like a supermarket. The homeowner Deborah and her husband TJ once had to save their neighbor’s dogs from getting eaten. TJ was out walking their dog Stella, when he saw a coyote on the prowl. I cut together a brief clip of them sharing their story:


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