Thursday, September 08, 2005

Night Sounds

Perfect Fall sleeping weather has arrived and the doors and windows stay open at night. This doesn't make for perfect sleep in the woods, but it does make for interesting night times.

The Katydids are about done. When they are really going off, the hillside in the night is like a ferry boat I rode from Sapporo to Sendai overnight with the monster diesel below decks throbbing my random thoughts into nothingness. A bunch of big green crickets can rock a forest when love comes to town.

There's a train track in the valley that sets off the coyotes sometimes. I don't know why certain trains get them yipping and the others don't. They don't "howl", by the way. Coyote's sound like the old women in a Monte Python routine ranting about the penguin on the telly, only more of them and in higher falsetto. Makes about the same amount of sense to me, too, but I guess the coyotes know what's going on. Or maybe not...They could be like FEMA, yipping around making lots of unintelligible raving about what a good job they're doing while not doing anything at all, really. Just sitting on the high ground yelling at everyone else to stay out of their territory.

Some trains get the coyotes going...some egregious Bush administration fubars get me going...but not this morning.

At first light, before that actually, a barred owl started talking...Like the preacher in the coffee shop yesterday at lunch, sitting with a woman, who should have been having a private conversation like everyone else in the place, but talking way too loud in his preacher voice saying he hates Liberalism...This to the woman but loud so the whole room would hear.

(How does a Christian hate what Jesus stood for? I wondered.)

Just like FundXtian preachers, Barred owls always say the same thing. From a distance it sounds like a barking dog. From up close it sounds danged loud. They got quite the tooter on 'em! I think they sound off to allocate hunting territory, but I'm not positive. In the Fall it seems like they hoot and separate, giving a few calls to let each other know where they are and then they shut up. I am usually not quite awake when they start and by the time I get fully conscious so I can appreciate the bird barking, they quit. I almost always want one more refrain, and they almost never oblige.

No encores! Buy a ticket for tomorrow's show.

Elvis has left the building.



Go here to listen:



  1. How cool about the coyotes and trains. And I know what you mean about the non-howl. The sound of coyotes is like an otherworldly language. They are plotting against us, I am convinced, and well they should be.

    As for your barred owl, I'm jealous as hell.

    Thanks for another much-need moment of peace.

  2. I think you have them in your yard also. I know that I heard them on a regular basis when I lived in Midtown. I'll bet that if you listen you'll hear them sometime soon. All they need is a patch of trees and some rats.

    In East TN we have mostly "patches" of trees left, thanks to two legged rats. If only the owls were bigger!