Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Fog and coyotes
This week is shaping up to be an unusual one for sightings at Roundtop. First, the fog and then the coyotes. The fog you can see in today’s photo. The coyotes were hidden by that fog but they were close. The chickens are on full lockdown for the foreseeable future and perhaps even longer than that.
The fog was as thick as I’ve ever seen it. Even with my headlamp, I couldn’t see more than five feet in front of me. I can’t tell you how often I stumbled over my own feet because I couldn’t see a dip underfoot.
I got home last evening around 5:30 and proceeded to run Baby Dog. We had just gotten outside when I heard 2-3 coyotes howling. They were down at the bottom of the mountain, probably near the bridge along the little stream where I take the adventure camp kids in the summer. So that was close enough. Although I’ve seen single coyotes at Roundtop over the years, I’ve never heard them singing here. That means there’s more than one—the singles don’t howl, having no one to howl to or with.
I take Baby Dog back inside. About an hour later, Sparrow needed a walk as she was all full of herself, so out we went. It was then that I heard one of the coyotes barking and very close by. I am reasonably sure it was along the access road that heads down towards the little stream. The road leads up to the slopes and a pond here on the mountain, just at the edge of good neighbor Larry’s house. A few seconds later, the bark repeats and is slightly further down that road and then a third time it was further yet.
I’m going to take a wild guess here and say that even the coyotes couldn’t see very far and were more vocal than ever just trying to find each other. It’s also possible the ongoing rifle deer season has moved them off the adjoining gamelands and onto Roundtop’s property. Still, that howling carries a long way and I’ve never heard them howling here before even at a distance.
I do know that this morning when Baby Dog and I were out walking, her hackles suddenly went up, and she started her serious, deep-throated, I-really-mean-it barking. I didn’t see the coyotes—too foggy for that—but I’ll bet they were close.