Brief encounter

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

During the brief glimpse of spring we had for a week or two between The Return of the Son of Winter, Part II and Winter VII: Nerds in Paradise, I went on a few morning runs, a routine that lay dormant during my winter hibernation.

I live in the Old Southwest/Newlands area, and usually just go running around the neighborhood, which is a great ’hood for running because it’s fun to admire all the historic and eclectic architecture. Plus, friendly neighbors, and a lot of pretty side streets and unexplored alleyways.

One recent morning, I was running toward the intersection of Bret Harte Avenue and Monroe Street, when I saw a dog rounding a corner up ahead. No big deal, right? Canine encounters are a common occurrence on neighborhood runs. But there was something strange about this dog—it had a lean, athletic build, and something about the way it moved seemed unusually alert or, you might even say, wily.

Yep. It was a coyote.

We used to see them fairly regularly when I lived in a rural neighborhood south of town, but I was a little surprised to see one that deep in Reno. It eyed me cautiously for a while, then crossed the street, and we headed off in different directions. It was a breathtaking, nearly mystical encounter to start the day.

That’s been my go-to small talk story for the last few days, and I’ve been surprised by the diversity of responses I’ve heard from friends and co-workers:

“Hope it didn’t kill any cats.”

“Wow! That’s unbelievable.”

“That’s no big deal. That neighborhood isn’t really very far from the hills.”

“Oh, of course. Coyotes live everywhere. There are coyotes on Manhattan.”

“That’s really sad. You know it was hungry, looking for food, probably displaced by all the development that’s taken place recently.”