The band shell at St. Augustine Cathedral downtown consists of flowers, leaves, butterflies and birds - all of it done in metal. The stage opens onto a small plaza where people gather for concerts and other events.


The trunks of two dead palm trees have another life form as sculptures of howling coyotes.

At night, lights around the coyotes are turned on, and it appears the wolflike animals are howling at the moon.

The figures - one about 5 feet tall and the other about 4 feet tall - flank a live palm tree that juts some 30 feet into the air at Mike Soderberg's east-side house in the El Dorado Hills subdivision. The neighborhood is east of North Wilmot Road and south of East Speedway.

Soderberg moved into his house at 6830 E. Rosewood Circle in 2005 and became fond of the sculpted coyotes. The house sits on the corner of Rosewood Circle and North Caribe Avenue.

"I just thought they were really cool," said the computer programmer. "It is easy to understand why people are attracted to them.

"People passing by stop and ring the doorbell and ask if they can take pictures of the coyotes," Soderberg said. "I tell them to go right ahead."

Soderberg doesn't know too much about the history of the coyotes, but he hopes folks who do and read this article will stop at his house and pass the stories on to him.

He was given some information from a neighbor who said the coyotes were sculpted out of the palm trees that withered and died about a decade ago.

The then-homeowner had the tree trunks cut down and commissioned an artist by the surname of Youngblood to create the coyote sculptures.

"I like the coyotes a lot," Soderberg said. "They are the only thing in my front yard that are not plain or boring."

Contact reporter Carmen Duarte at 573-4104 or