Why Wily Coyote?

I'll be honest, no one's ever asked me why our company is named Wily Coyote Botanicals, but I'm going to tell you anyway. First off, a couple questions I DO get often are, "Did you spell wily right?" and "Is that a copyright infringement?" To answer the first question, yes! I did indeed check the Miriam-Webster dictionary and the word wily means to be cunning, crafty, clever and shrewd. All of which are important attributes of the discerning herbalist, in my opinion. Secondly, the beloved Looney Tunes character goes by the name Wile. E Coyote. See what they did there? The creators of the show made it look like a name. SO CUTE. So is our name a copyright infringement?... No? I'll be impressed if Warner Bros wants to sue little old us, but if there's anyone out there that understands copyright law better than I do, I'm all ears. 

On to the next part of our name- Coyote.  After receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback on the first couple batches of lotion gifted to friends and neighbors, I thought it could be fun to give it a life of its own. This is where the real magic happened. As I was pondering business names (why is naming things so hard?) two blurs raced across my view through the window. I jumped up, ran outside and came face to face with a coyote about 25 feet from the back door. It took off and I knew immediately it was attempting to turn my cat into a midday snack. Luckily, she's got a hidey hole underneath the deck and knew exactly where to run to. After that I was furious with the coyote and all coyotes in general. How dare it come into the yard and attempt to eat my cat! I couldn't stop thinking about it so I decided to lean into the thought process and do a little more research on the species.  

While widely considered a nuisance and a pest, the coyote is actually one of nature's masters of adaptation. Humans have been waging war on the predator for more than a century and unlike their unlucky cousin, the wolf, have managed to quadruple in population size over that span of time. Obviously, these killing programs don't work. Why? 

Research suggests that when aggressively controlled, coyotes can increase their reproductive rate by breeding at an earlier age and having larger litters with a higher survival rate among the young. This allows coyote populations to quickly bounce back, even when as much as 70 percent of their numbers are removed. But wait! Theres more. 

Coyotes are opportunistic omnivores with great flexibility in their diet. They generally hunt small mammals such as mice, rats, voles, rabbits and prairie dogs, but will also eat fruit and berries and will even scavenge road-killed animals. In urban areas, coyotes are also known to eat pet food, unsecured garbage and compost.

The more I learned about them, the more they reminded me of the main ingredient in my lotion! Wild violets. No, violets have never tried to eat my cat, but they are considered by many to be a nuisance weed blocking the path to the perfect mono-cultured lawn. In fact, many of our best herbal allies (I'm talking about you chickweed, dandelion, nettles etc.) are considered by many to be weeds. As we've learned from our war on the wolf, when you remove a predator from an ecosystem prey species numbers go up and so does the impending damage to the system of flora they eat. If we look beyond the immediate "nuisance" often times we see a necessary element of life. 

So I suppose in conclusion, it's up to us to decide how we want to view the world and our place in it. Is it our property or the wily coyote's? Our lawn or the wild violet's? Human's have a long history of viewing the land and its inhabitants as a threat to be conquered. When I took a second to slow down and see the world through the lens of the coyote and the violet I ended up with a fun business name and whole new perspective on life! 

Most coyote research used found here- https://www.humanesociety.org/sites/default/files/docs/HSUS-Coyote-Mgt-Plan_2020.pdf


Leave a comment