17 February 2019


The first time I heard of the javelina was during a horseback ride when the trail guide started describing a vicious black pig of the desert that would attack cattle and horses. The first time I saw a javelina he saw me and ran away. The second time I saw a javelina was in a parking lot. He was wandering around the cars and sniffing around trash cans.

Since those encounters, I happen upon them as a common occurrence on trails and try to keep my distance. Once during a dry spell, 3 large ones walked down my street like a gang of tough guys unafraid of the urban environment around them.

Most of the time I'm amazed the Sonoran Desert can support mammals this big and then remember this is a pretty green desert as far as deserts go. As a regional character, the javelina is pretty famous; adorning postcards, lawn ornaments and mailboxes. As a wild animal it's tough, crafty and fearless.

I was thinking about their sense of smell which is way better than their eyesight. That sense of smell helps them root out seeds, meats, fruits grasses and roots. A scent gland on the rear of their back help them communicate with each other. So yeah, I was thinking about navigating by smell in this piece.

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