Coyotes & Hiking in the Heat

Segment 2, May 27, 2023

Remember the spider lilies.  Landsford Canal State Park is the place to see the bloom. It’s only an hour south of Charlotte & full of flowers, good trails, & wildlife.

Speaking of wildlife: Mary Ramsey of the Charlotte Observer reports on the recent NC WIldlife Resource Commission statement.

“‘Coyotes are common throughout North Carolina, including in cities and suburbs,'” and while they’re not very prone to attacking people or pets, incidents can happen. But there are steps you can take to stay safe. Here’s what to know about coyote behavior and how to keep yourself and your pets safe:

Instances of coyotes attacking humans “are very rare,” the wildlife commission advises.
However, “pup season brings an added factor to interacting with coyotes” because a coyote with vulnerable pups nearby is more likely to stand its ground.
“This time of year, if you pass through a brushy or wooded area and notice a coyote watching you or following you at a distance, it could have a den nearby,” biologist Falyn Owens said in the group’s statement.
“Calmly leave the area and notify others if you are near a public trail.”

HOW TO PROTECT PETS FROM COYOTES Coyotes naturally prey on rodents and can sometimes mistake small pets, including cats and small-breed dogs, as food, the wildlife commission cautions. The group recommends keeping a close eye on pets when outside to reduce the risk of an incident. Other steps you can take to protect your pet include: Keeping pets behind a dog-proof fence that is at least 6 feet tall and prevents digging underneath Keeping pets on leashes or harnesses when outside fenced-in areas Picking up your pet if you see a coyote or suspect one is nearby when outside with your pet Feeding your pets inside and keeping food waste in secure containers Keeping bird seed off the ground, because it “can attract rodents and wildlife that prey on them”

HOW TO HAZE A COYOTE When coyotes “have adapted to urban and suburban environments,” the Humane Society of the United States explains, they are more likely to hang out around populated areas, posing risks to them and people and pets. The group recommends “hazing” — “a method that makes use of deterrents to move an animal out of an area or discourage an undesirable behavior or activity” — as a technique for humanely getting rid of coyotes who’ve become accustomed to people. Hazing methods include:

“Yelling and waving your arms while approaching the coyote” Using noisemakers, such as whistles, air horns, bells, “shaker” cans full of marbles or pennies, pots, lid or pie pans banged together Spraying the coyote with water from a garden hose or a vinegar water mixture Throwing sticks or other items such as tennis balls towards the coyote, but not directly at it.

Also in the news:  A person died hiking a popular trail in the Grand Canyon National Park. Helena Wegner reports on a 36-year old hiking the Bright Angel Trail on May 14th, 2023, was found unresponsive.  They had hiked 8-miles down to the Colorado River & were attempting to hike out in the same day.

Rangers also warned visitors of hiking in hot weather in the coming weeks. Parts of the trail can reach temperatures as high as 120 degrees, including in the shade, officials said. The inner canyon shouldn’t be hiked in the summer between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. because that’s when hikers report the most heat-related illnesses, park officials said.

When temperatures are extremely high, some people’s bodies can have trouble regulating temperature. In some cases, people can experience heat exhaustion and have muscle cramps, nausea, weakness and cold or clammy skin, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If heat exhaustion persists for too long, however, it can lead to heatstroke, the most serious form of heat injury.
If people choose to hike or be outdoors in dangerously hot temperatures, officials recommend the following tips:
Drink plenty of water and plan to replenish electrolytes.
Eat twice as much food as normal and have salty foods on hand.
Carry a first-aid kit. Pack essentials only.
Bring a flashlight with spare batteries to hike during the cool evening.
Spray yourself with water to cool down.
Have a Tilley hat and sunscreen as protection from the sun.
Have a whistle or signal for emergency use.

Plus, Remember Memorial Day

Host Bill Bartee shared, “Every Memorial Day weekend, I like to remind myself, what Memorial Day is all about.  Of course, it is nice to recognize veterans, first responders, police, when you see them out or at a game or concert.

But Memorial Day isn’t Veteran’s Day.  Memorial Day asks us to do something that we seemingly aren’t as good at these days.  Memorial Day asks us to be reverent, solemn, & yes, even prayerful.  It is a mixed bag of sympathy, introspection, thankfulness for those who died while serving in the military for our country.

For many of us, death in service is removed.  We are aware of damage that military service can inflict on those that survive. Lost legs, arms, eyes, head trauma, PTSD.

But Memorial Day is a day that we remember & recognize those that we can’t see at all, in-person.  We see them in photographs, headstones, names on walls, & statues.  This is a day for us to remember them.

For many people Memorial Day is especially close.  Imagine being a brother, sister, parent of a service member that doesn’t return from a battle in Vietnam over fifty years ago—-this is a special day for us to remember that soldier & serviceman.

Imagine you are the brother, sister, parent of someone lost in Afghanistan, Iraq, or a place unnamed & unknown to all but the gone.

Our society really wants to celebrate what we can see.  Memorial Day is about what we remember– & who we remember.

These service people that died in service to our country didn’t want to die.  It reminds me of the quote from General George S. Patton:

The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.

But war has casualties, & it is important for us to remember—to memorialize them.

Oh yes, another way to remember them is through song— In fact, one of our most famous songs to memorialize came during the Civil War—

The song was initially called “Butterfield’s Lullaby” & it came about July 2nd, 1862, just after the Battle for Richmond. Union Brigader General Daniel Adams Butterfield & brigade bugler, Oliver Norton went to work because Butterfield wanted a call for lights out that was not as formal as the army’s, then-current, regulation call.

They penned a revision of a French bugle signal after the Battle for Richmond, July 2nd, 1862.  The reason?  He felt that the army’s regulation call for lights out was too formal.

The 24-note melancholy bugle call they came up with was a revision of a French bugle signal.

He adopted the new tune and had it played at the end of each day.  His men loved it and other brigades began to adopt it.  In fact, not only the Union troops enjoyed it but also the Confederate troops.  Within a few months both sides were using it to signal the end of the day.

A week after it was first used for lights out it was used during a burial ceremony, Union Captain John Tidball, used it rather than the traditional 3-round volley.  Tidball felt the 3-round volley would betray their location to the enemy & therefore replaced the volley with “Butterfield’s Lullaby”.

Ten months later this, “Butterfield’s Lullaby”, written by a Union General & his bugler was used at the funeral of the Confederate General, Stonewall Jackson.

Now it is used in accompaniment with the lowering of the flag & to signal lights out by Scouts, military & others.

In 1891, “Butterfield’s Lullaby” became regulation & is played at all U.S. military funeral ceremonies.”

So whenever you hear TAPS, no matter where? Think of those that have died in military service to our country— We can’t see them but we can Memorialize them.

The Charlotte fly shop provided all the fly rods in Charlotte during the taping of this segment.  The host was wearing his fly fishing waders & wading boots.