I live and work on a military base, a place that is damned difficult to access by humans and most other mammals. Walls and various types of security blockades encircle the small air base. Generally there are only a couple of gates used for ingress and egress, and those are well monitored by security personnel.
The desert birds, of course, come on the base and leave it at will. Many mornings I feed my feathered friends. The most prolific morning diners are grackles (very smart birds that resemble crows), but the free and easy breakfast also attracts desert doves, woodpeckers, and the occasional Gambles Quail.
This morning while driving to work I encountered a creature that I had never seen on base before. A coyote casually walked across the road right in front of my car and then proceeded to walk along the roadway as if he was conducting an inspection. I can only assume that he must have jumped the fence to get in. The coyote appeared to be in good health and not too bothered by the proximity of civilization.
A friend of mine who lives on the eastern side of the Valley near the community of Apache Junction had a close encounter with a coyote who was more aggressive than the one I spotted this morning. She was out walking her dogs one evening - one of whom she described as old and nearly blind - and one a small, yappy Chihuahua. As they were walking along in the desert near her home, a coyote rushed by and grabbed up the Chihuahua in his jaws. My friend said that he ran twenty yards or so and then dropped the frightened dog. She had to take the Chihuahua to the vet to get it treated for the coyote's teeth marks. I told her that it sounded as though the coyote didn't like Mexican food.
Another friend who lives in a very nice suburb of Phoenix - the one where Joe Arpaio lives - was walking down a sidewalk near her home one evening when a javelina raced by and rubbed against her leg. I'm not expecting to see any javelinas on base because they aren't known for being fence-jumpers.
If Al Gore is right, and I believe he is, this whole Valley will be nothing but a ghost town within the next couple of decades. Our water situation is already extremely fragile, though the political goobers who run the state will never admit it. They will keep watering their lawns and golf courses until the last drop flows from the tap. When that happens, Mr. Coyote and all of his relatives, friends, and neighbors will be back to reclaim their desert. Today's visit was just reconnaissance.