From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Howling coyotes

Howling Coyotes

Life in Christian County, Kentucky... More About Birds and Animals... The Rural Life



This evening, I did a nasty job that I've been putting off for a while. I emptied out some jars of applesauce that I canned several years ago but we never got around to eating.

I took the jars out to the porch and emptied them into a bucket and then took the bucket to the garden and emptied it onto my compost pile. Tomorrow morning, there will probably be a bunch of sick or drunk possums lying around the yard. (Just kidding.)

While I was doing all this, the coyotes started howling in the neighbor's field just over the road. It is eerie to hear coyotes at close range. When you hear them in the distance, you get the main melody of their howls, but you miss the subtle details. When they are just a couple hundred feet away, you hear every yip, chortle, warble and squeak.

Isaac came out and we listened for a few minutes. Then he went back in, and I went around the side of the house to use the hose. I nearly tripped over one of the cats in the dark, and I said something sharp to it as I stumbled. The coyotes instantly stopped howling. I guess they saw me, or they knew from listening that I had moved closer to them.

I didn't hear them howling in the field again, but about 15 minutes later, I heard coyotes howling in the distance north of us. It could have been the same pack -- or a different one. We seem to have lots of coyotes here.

When we first moved out here, I never heard coyotes, but in the last ten years it has become a frequent thing to hear them howling. They come so close some nights that we can hear them howling from inside the house. I always check to make sure the cats are inside when I hear the coyotes.

I have read that coyotes will kill foxes and drive them out of their range. It is true that I have not seen a fox around here for probably six or eight years now, but there are lots of coyotes.

Coyotes are omnivorous and they are scavengers, so there may be sick and drunk coyotes lying around the compost pile tomorrow morning along with the possums. (Just kidding.)

Coyote

Technorati tags:

5 comments:

Neurotic Mom said...

Don't forget to take pictures of the drunk creatures laying around your yard LOL you are too funny

RunAwayImagination said...

I just have to tell you how inspirational your blog has been to me. I love your writing style, how you focus on the very specific details of life, drawing the reader into your world. You've inspired me to write posts with pictures about my everyday adventures. Sometimes I think we too often ignore the beauty of the natural world around us. Thank you for bringing it back into focus.

Wrkinprogress said...

To echo Runawayimagination's comments, I would love to know that you write for a local newspaper or magazine, or that you are writing your own book. Maybe you could have a little radio show -- your wisdom and wit are so very entertaining!

I've only heard a coyote down here once, but once was enough. I truly hope they're not nearby. We do have turkeys roosting in the woods directly behind our house, and I'm always happy to hear their silly "gobblegobblegobble"!

Peace,
WIP

Genevieve said...

Thanks for taking time to read my blog, Runaway, Mom, WIP (and everyone else who has read this deep into the blog.) I appreciate each one of you and I feel truly honored each time you stop by.

The blog has been good practice for me, as it's much like writing a daily column. Sometimes I don't know what to write, but I sit down and start with some topic, and make what I can of it. It's a good discipline.

The blog format is the perfect place to do the kind of writing I like and do best -- the sort of personal essay that you read here all the time. One type of writing that I am absolutely no good at is fiction. I have no imagination at all for it.

My son has been telling me that I should write a book (does that sound familiar, Runaway?) :)

If I ever do write a book, I will probably title it something like "Stories For My Grandchildren" and write about growing up on a ranch, going to a one-room country school, and so on.

I am nearly 55, so maybe it is time to go ahead and write the book instead of just talking about it. :D

LittleOne said...

I think that would be wonderful, and you'd have something precious to leave your grandchildren!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.