Sunday, December 28, 2008

First Contact

We've always known the coyotes are here. I hear them in the evenings, just as the sun is going down, barking and singing up a storm. The dogs know it, too, and are often aware of their presence before we are. We're nearly six months into our residence here, and this morning had our first actual sighting. I didn't, of course. I was in bed, sleeping the drug-induced sleep of a sick person. My husband and the dogs were the ones on the case, and I missed the whole affair.

It began with the dogs barking their faces off from the kitchen porch. This is fairly unusual for them during daylight hours. There are rarely unfamiliar people around, and the dogs are accustomed to the chickens and ducks that wander around the place, so daytime barking is almost nil. When my husband went to investigate, he spied a coyote about 30 yards down the hill, on the near side of the pond, just sitting and watching the dogs. He went for the .22, and when he returned, it was no longer in sight, but he could see rustling in the tall grass. He fired a shot into the grass and two coyotes went running out and away.

I knew this day would come. Now that they've been here, we need to be extra watchful of our animals. Chickens would be nice easy prey for a coyote, and I worry about our dogs getting too near them as well. We'll continue to let the chickens out for now, but later in the morning and probably not while we're away all day anymore. We'll just have to take things as they come, I suppose.

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