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Neena was the first to hear it and let slip a warning growl; a low rumble that started softly and built quickly into a “back off” bark that meant business. In the still seconds before the other dogs sounded their alarm I heard it too: the distant shrill yip of dancing coyotes. Immediately Hazer followed Neena’s lead, leaping to his feet, moving toward my bed and barking ferociously while Gus howled an alarm from his crate in the living room. It’s an eerie sound to hear at 4 o’clock on a crisp fall morning. The pack must have been pretty close for humans to hear them through our closed windows. I lay there thinking about the horses. Coyotes aren’t a real threat to a small herd of healthy equines. But still. And while the sound of yipping coyotes can seem a bit creepy, I can’t help picturing them dancing and playing in the moonlight or running and cavorting through dewy fields and mossy woods. That’s not a frightening vision at all.

The coyotes and dogs carried on for the better part of twenty minutes. There was no stopping them.  Neena didn’t seem to carry on very much, but the boys were thoroughly caught up in the vocal chorus. Gus was especially reluctant to quiet down and continued to bark and growl for some time after the interlopers had moved on. Our first fall serenade.

4 responses

  1. We saw a PBS special recently on Coy-Wolves – coyotes that have crossed with eastern wolves and are quite intelligent and very adaptable, even living in Central Park in NYC.

    September 23, 2014 at 11:54 PM

    • I find it so amazing how these coyotes can co-exist so closely with us in our urban setting. But then again, the local deer do it too. I’ve seen so much wildlife lately, an obvious result of too much encroachment via our ever-expanding housing tracts. I can’t understand why there is still such a driving need to strip the land of forests and build more housing when every third house around here sits vacant? But I digress. That’s a rant for another day!

      September 24, 2014 at 10:17 AM

  2. Mags Corner

    We love to hear them but would want them to always keep their distance. That is a fantastic picture of Neena.

    September 24, 2014 at 12:29 AM

    • I’m totally with you on hearing them, but keeping their distance! Thanks for the kind words on the photo. Neena is very camera shy! 🙂

      September 24, 2014 at 10:24 AM

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