Monday, November 24, 2008

A New Day

I was out tending to the horses in the pre-dawn hour around 6:30 in the morning yesterday. I try to keep them on a twelve hour feeding schedule year round even if they are on pasture, 6:30 AM and 6:30 PM. They look forward to their sweet feed meals and fresh hay on a regular schedule. They aren’t hogs, meaning they don’t get pushy around food. They know there is a ritual where I clean their paddock and stall areas. I rub them down making sure they don’t have any injuries and I check and clean their hooves. I get social with them. Then I fill their water containers before I feed them.

What I’m saying is that I don’t rush in and feed them. They know it’s coming and they know all the steps of the pre-feeding ritual. And with this ritual they don’t rush in to eat. Sometimes they just stand outside listening and watching. They get tans-fixed. Some mornings I turn off the lights and hang out with them to look at what they are looking at and hear what they are listening to in the dawns early light.

This was the case yesterday when suddenly a pack of coyotes about a quarter mile away started howling. I could pick out six distinct voice, but there could have been more. I could hear the sounds of what I thought were young coyotes howling with the old howlers. Then neighbor dogs started in the howl fest. It went on for nearly a minute and as quickly as it started it stopped. Silence fell on our valley again.

Though I am fascinated with the sound it does send a chill up ones spine and I’m sure the horses feel the same innate natural spine chill as I. Within fifteen seconds of the end of the calling, the horses sauntered into their stalls for their breakfast. The next sound was the ring of the gate I closed behind me. Another day began.


Blogger darev2005 said...

Very cool. Although not a morning person by nature, I'd get up early for that now and then. If you wake up some morning and there's a stranger in your paddock just standing there listening, it might be me. Don't shoot.

4:06 AM  
Blogger Donna said...

When I used to milk cows and raise bobby calves, I was always out before daylight and would often hear coyotes. I love the sound! I don't hear them often these days, but of course I'm not out there early now. A passing train used to really set them howling. Last time I heard them was when I spent a night at the cabin, and even then they were quite some distance away.

4:58 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Darev, I don't have any guns, except for a Daisy one shot bb gun.

Donna, I do miss living where I can hear the trains. The only big sounds that comes my way were I live are the sounds of the ocean, the sound of fog horns on the Columbia and the sound of the horns from choke setting logs.

5:16 AM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

Oh snap! Not the daisy! Sometimes those suckers hurt worse than actually being shot. Except for maybe the shotgun/rock salt combo. That takes a whole lotta bactine to get over.

2:49 PM  
Anonymous CoumbiaControlFreak said...

I too love the coyotes and enjoying listening to them sing on the ridge tops around my place. When they are plentiful and the hunting is good they sometimes will sing from right in my orchard just 100ft from my house.

Downthe road from me a gal bought a house and lived there a little less than a year beofre she left. The wildlife freaked her out. Actually seeing a real coyote put her into hysterics and she called the sheriff to come kill it. It of course was just passign through and long goen by the time she called. I think it was when a neighbor explained the odd noise she'd heard for several nights in a row was the resident female cougar announcing her in heat status.

11:11 AM  
Blogger Yokel (TKS) said...

Great blog. It's a nice break from Everything Else.

We have a pack of coyotes that live around the pond that's tucked into the woods behind our house. We hear them yipping all summer (with the windows open) but now, with the cold forcing our windows shut, I sorta miss them. But our neighbors don't. Too many lost cats around here. To even bring a cat into a household here seems silly. You might as well just feed it to the (wild) dogs. Anyway, I expect the pack will starve out and move on now that most of the neighborhood cats have been taken. I still hope to hear the coyotes yipping in the early morning when I open my windows again in springtime. Between their yips, the squawks of the feral peacocks, the chorus frogs and the mourning doves that cluster on our roof, it makes for a lovely early morning alarm. I find it much easier to get out of bed at 5am then than at any other time.

Rhymes With Camera

8:09 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

One would figure the coyotes would eat the pea-birds. They can be pretty annoying, but I guess in small doses...

9:47 AM  

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