Saturday, September 6, 2008

Visitors in the night

These photos are from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife files - they are not mine (we don't have snow...yet!)

Last night was scary. That sickly sounding dog I mentioned earlier this week?'s a coyote. They are awful sounding. Their excited howling sits like a pit in the middle of my stomach when I hear it. It's an awful way of waking up.
We sleep with our windows open. It's beautifully cool at night (often downright cold!) and it makes for wonderful sleeping conditions...when it's quiet. There are two issues for us. The first is the road noise and I'll write more about that tomorrow. The second (and more unsettling) is the coyote sounds. At about 1:50 am, it started. Extremely close, excited howling/crying woke me up from a sound sleep. I immediately woke up my H who grabbed his glasses, his pants, his shoes and the shot gun. I pressed my face to the screen to try and tell where the sound was coming from. It was clear that they were in the buffalo field behind the house. As H stepped out onto the back deck, the lights went on triggered by his movement. By then, I was also outside and could tell that the coyotes had moved further up the field to the north. When he was in the side yard, our cat came running towards him. I called the cat into the yard and put him inside. Then the coyotes got silent. He took the dog of ours that is part hound and headed out to the buffalo field. He wanted to see if the coyotes were out there and being quiet and if the dog could smell them. So far, neither dog showed any interest in the coyotes. Whether this was because they had been woken up and were still sleepy is hard to say.
I went back inside and waited. He eventually came back with the dog without ever having seen anything. Eventually, we all calmed down and went back to sleep. I made mental lists of the things I would need to better secure the chicken coop and then eventually fell asleep. Crisis averted once again. If this keeps up, we won't be getting much sleep!

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