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what is it about coyotes and moonlight?

September 18, 2016

If you happened to be in my part of the world, tonight, just after nine, you would have seen a magical moon rise. Mystical even. (Though I hate using that word, as it is greatly misused these days.)

But I have no other way to describe it. Far off on the eastern horizon a bank of storm clouds drifted off, back lit by the rising moon. The outer edges of the great cumulus clouds glowed a creamy orange, fantastical rimmed mountains, while underneath, in the dark, sheet lightening occasionally bounced back and forth – giving the clouds the illusion of some great beast coming to life.


All photos from two days ago – with the full moon – hand held camera

And then, precisely when the moon first broke from its cover, at the other end of our valley, coyotes began to yip, one, then two, then a chorus of yelps and whines and strangulations, sounding in the dark, under these stars, like minions from hell, who when struck by moonlight, wrench at their bodies in great pain.

Someone in our cafe tried to argue with me this past weekend that wolves sound much more ominous then coyotes. I disagree.

_dsc7911The wolf who lives with these coyotes also began to howl. For twenty seconds the coyotes went silent as he called at the moon. Stoic, majestic, noble, alone – those great long singular calls in the night – and then the shrill yips and howls of the coyotes struck up again, and my blood shrank, and I turned to locate the house, to see the light on in the kitchen window.

The moon, two days past its full, remained, throughout our walk, a deep creamy orange – harvest moon, pumpkin moon, the last moon of summer.

_dsc7916We walked to the edge of the pine forest, watching as our shadows grew strong, the world darkening into the black/blue night that only moonlight can produce.

Crickets, an odd frog, grasshoppers buzzing still in the warm air. A Kildeer screeched when we got too close, the cat jumped, one of the horses snorted.


yes, these are stars…

Rural nighttime under a big open sky.

Walking your dog under the dome of the big dark universe.




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