Posted tagged ‘Coyote’

“One swallow maketh not summer; nor one woodcock a winter.​”

February 2, 2018

We had a dusting of snow this morning. It was just enough to cover the walk and the car. I walked gingerly down the steps to the road to my paper. Luckily, I made it back to the house none the worse for wear. Yesterday I went across the street to get my mail and noticed big paw prints in the snow. I’m thinking coyote.

The swelling is almost gone from my wrist. It hurts when I bend it so I’m careful. My leg still doesn’t like going down stairs. I out-loud ouched my way on each step.

The other night I heard a loud noise on my deck. I went and got my flashlight and shined it at the window and saw me reflected in the glass. How silly that was. I gave going out to check a thought, but then I remembered all those B movies I’ve seen. The ones who went to check were always killed in gruesome ways with lots of blood. I waited until morning. I found nothing.

The weather in the Cape Cod Times took me aback. Today the high is listed as 74˚ with a low of 64˚. The whole week has similar prediction. I wish it were so. I went on line and found the actual temperature will be 35˚ with a low tonight of 13˚. I actually saw the sun for about 5 minutes a little while ago, but the clouds came back. Outside looks cold, almost brutal. From my window I can see the grey bark of the pine trees their limbs still coated with snow. The sky in contrast with the trees is a lighter grey. Even now and then a top branch moves but only a little. I am glad to be inside and warm.

It is B-movie day or even further down to M-movie day as the films I’ve watched are just awful. First I saw the giant crabs and now The Creeper. I recognized only one actor in either movie, the professor from Gilligan’s Island. Both movies have screaming women, scientists in lab coats, weird noises and characters hearing voices; of course, they do.

Today is Groundhog Day, and it was no surprise that Punxsutawney Phil predicted six more weeks of winter. This tradition is 132 years old and is held every year at Gobbler’s Knob and is conducted by top hat-donning members of the Inner Circle of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club. (I wonder if there is a secret handshake.) Anyway, the tradition is German in origin, but they used a badger; however, when German colonists arrive, there were no badgers in the East, so they drafted the groundhog aka the woodchuck to do the prognosticating.

“Gray day. Everything is gray. I watch. But nothing moves today.”

September 11, 2016

The weather stay cooperative last night so we had our movie night. Continuing the trend of bad movies we watched The Time Travelers. Three scientists and one other guy wearing a jumpsuit and sporting a shirt and tie went through a portal to the future, a grim future. Mutants lived above ground and humans lived below ground. Earth was doomed so a spaceship was being built and provisioned for a trip to Alpha Centauri. The women underground wore the tightest mostly pink-collared jumpsuits (which had panty lines to give you an idea of how tight). The men wore more elaborate jumpsuits with weird collars. The rest of the plot had the mutants attacking, our intrepid time travelers and a few underground scientists going back in time via the portal. They, however, went back too soon. I won’t give away the rest of the plot in case you are in the mood for a really bad science fiction movie.

The food was wonderful last night. We split a chicken quesadilla and a pizza, half cheese and half pepperoni. For movie candy we had chocolate covered caramel balls and chocolate covered bacon caramel balls. We played a game of Phase 10 first. It gets dark so early now the evening was over by 9.

The weather is damp. The sky is gray cloudy. A strong breeze comes and goes. No rain is expected here, but much of the state will have thunder showers. The house is really dark. I needed a light to read the papers. I have no ambition today. I gathered my laundry but purposefully left it upstairs. My bed is unmade. I’m not dressed, and I don’t intend to get dressed.

A bunny was in my yard when I went to get the papers. It hopped off when I got close. The coyotes must be elsewhere.

The big news is I have a new neighbor. She moved in two houses down. Yesterday there was a u-haul in the driveway and about 5 or 6 cars parked in front of the house. She is my third new neighbor in the last year, all of them women.

I am getting drowsy. Being the only creature in the house still awake makes me want to conform the standards set by the two cats and the dog. I think that’s probably why I didn’t make my bed.

“This squirrel is inadequately afraid of humans! Squirrel, I am a threat to you! We are enemies! Please get off my bench! Oh, god! Oh, god! Don’t touch me—oh, god!”

June 7, 2015

All glorious adjectives are springing from my dancing fingers to describe the morning. The sun is where are my sunglasses bright and the sky is the bluest blue in any palette. It is warm, the warmest in a long while. I can hear my deck calling. My book is nearly finished so it and I will amble outside later to enjoy this lovely day. Gracie is already outside and has been all morning. That is one smart puppy!

Two red spawns have found each other, and I’m thinking they’re spooning. This morning both of the red beasties were on my deck eating at the bird feeders. They ran as soon as I grabbed my hose. Later they were chasing each other up and down branches and tree trunks. That’s all I need, a family of spawns living in my backyard.

I used to think squirrels were cute standing on their hind legs begging for peanuts when I visited the Boston Public Garden. They were everywhere running and chasing each other. I think they were the first wildlife I ever fed when I was little. My dad would give me a bag of peanuts in the shell and once a peanut appeared hordes of squirrels ran and stood all around me hoping for one. I’d throw a peanut or two and the crowd of squirrels would head to the thrown nut. I thought it was fun, but then again I was too young to realize I was perpetuating a species of spawns.

My backyard has attracted a variety of animals. I saw a coyote back there a couple of times but not since the fence. Inside the fence there has been the giant raccoon, the spraying skunk, the playing dead possum, the baby grey squirrel chattering at me as I saved it from the mighty hunter, Gracie, and a mouse. The last one was sort of funny. Both Gracie and the mouse were around a tree trunk-one chasing and the other being chased. It reminded me of the tigers running around the tree until they turned to butter. I finally grabbed Gracie and the mouse ran to safety. I expect both were a bit dizzy.

“Petting, scratching, and cuddling a dog could be as soothing to the mind and heart as deep meditation and almost as good for the soul as prayer.”

May 7, 2015

We have had such beautiful days, warm days, short-sleeve shirt days. The sun is even so bright it makes me squint. By the afternoon the sun has made its way around the house to the back so I go and sit on the deck to take in the warmth. Gracie stands beside my chair and watches the birds until she gets sleepy and lies down for a nap in the sun.

Yesterday I was sitting at a red light when I noticed a hawk high above me riding the thermals in ever smaller circles. I got lost in the hawk, and it took a honk from the driver behind me to bring me back to the now green light.

I have seen foxes, rabbits, coyotes, wild turkeys, deer, skunks, opossums and the common raccoon around here where I live. Actually it was only one deer which ran across the road in front of my car just down the street from my house. I pulled over to watch until it disappeared near the power lines.

I don’t remember seeing many animals when I was a kid even though we spent a lot of time roaming the woods. I remember snakes the most. They seemed to be everywhere. They were, for the most part, garter snakes. We’d pick them up just to check them out, but we never hurt them and we always let them go. They’d slither so fast when freed they seemed to disappear. I can’t remember the last time I saw a snake around here.

I liked scary when I was a kid. I don’t mean afraid. I never wanted to be afraid. Scary was mostly a product of my imagination when I heard footsteps behind me or that hook scratching the screen. Scary made me giggle a little, a sort of defensive reaction to prove I wasn’t really scared. Once, when I was an adult, my dog Maggie, another boxer, woke me from a sound sleep when she leapt out of bed, stood at the top of the stairs and barked her fiercest bark several times but then she just turned around, jumped back on the bed and went to sleep. I wasn’t as fortunate as it took me a while to calm down enough to go back to sleep. I wasn’t sure what to think about Maggie’s barking. Maybe she had a nightmare was one thought, but I didn’t really think so because she usually just sort of barked in her sleep when she was dreaming. I really believed she heard something, something loud enough to put her on alert. Whatever it was left because of Maggie’s deep, fierce barking. She was my protector, and I was really glad to have her. Gracie has that role now, and she is great at her job.

“I like physics, but I love cartoons.”

February 3, 2014

When I woke up this morning, it was raining. By the time I was leaving to go to breakfast, about a half hour later, it was snowing. When I got in the car, it was just in time to hear the Cape and Islands NPR forecaster say the rain would be turning to snow later. About then someone should have looked out the window and readjusted that forecast just a bit. The announcer went on to say we are supposed to get around 3 inches of snow. I was a bit skeptical as those first flakes were wet and didn’t stick, but as I was driving home, I could see the snow was starting to cover the ground. From my window here in the den, the backyard looks like a winter wonderland (a word used with tongue in cheek). The pine branches have a layer of snow, and the snow is still falling heavily from the north. I’m not so skeptical any more.

I have no plans for today. Peapod will be by later with my groceries, and I’m clicking my heels in the air as my larder is about as empty as I can remember it ever being. The last three meals were eggs: an omelet with cheese, two over-easy and an egg salad sandwich. Thank God I am now out of eggs, but I am also out of bread and just about everything else. The animals have food as I went to Agway on Saturday. I took care of the dog, the cats and the birds. Today I take care of me.

Cartoons weren’t all that educational when I was a kid. Many were violent but in a funny way we knew wasn’t real. I can’t remember how many times I watched Road Runner use Acme dynamite on Coyote who always survived despite being flattened or blown up. Tom endlessly chased Jerry who was so much smarter unlike the mice I caught last winter in my eaves. They were suckers for peanut butter. I still love Rocky and Bullwinkle and appreciate their satirical and ironic humor far more now then I did as a kid. To me the best antagonists in any cartoons will always be Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale. How many times did Elmer Fudd shoot himself with his shot-gun instead of shooting Bugs Bunny? Popeye was in his own way trying to be inspirational with all that spinach. He’d pop open the can and suck down the green slop which sailed from the can in an arc to his mouth. His arm muscles would grow and grow and Bluto would become history after one Popeye punch. I never did like spinach, but I did punch a couple of people, one in elementary school and one at Fenway Park.

I think my favorite cartoon was George of the Jungle which was on when I was in college. It definitely wasn’t meant for little kids. In one cartoon, George whacked the bad guy on his head with a thick club and announced, “I came. I saw and I conked him.” In another cartoon, the jungle was being redistricted by a character named Gerry Mander. What kid would get that reference when half the adults I know wouldn’t have? That was the fun of George of the Jungle.

“As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!!!”

January 17, 2013

Yesterday it poured all day, but off-Cape had snow so I’m not complaining. Miss Gracie and I did a dump run, and I didn’t even bother to change out of my flannel pants and sweat shirt. The dump was pretty empty in the rain.

The mouse count is now 14. Two got caught yesterday: one in the plastic trap and one in the have-a-heart. I have a story. The one in the plastic trap was making so much noise scratching and banging that it woke me up. I wanted to sleep in peace so I decided, despite the dark and the rain, to take it outside. I walked across the street, my usual deportation spot, and was about to open the trap when I heard, “Hello.” I just about jumped out of my skin. I turned around and all I saw was a light, not a flashlight but a bigger light. “Who is it?” I asked. “Billy,” was the answer. It was my neighbor carrying the light, an umbrella and a huge cup of steaming coffee. He was walking Cody, his dog. I asked the time. It was six o’clock. He wanted to know why I was in the rain, in the dark at six o’clock. I told him about my mice. He said he was sorry.

When I was a kid, I never did see much wildlife where I lived, maybe a skunk or two but that was about it. We saw cows at the farm and animals at the zoo but nothing exciting in the woods. Here on the Cape I’ve seen deer, rabbits, foxes, wild turkeys, coyotes and the common skunks, raccoons and ugly opossums, though that last one is redundant. I didn’t mention the spawns on purpose. The coyotes are common but usually at night or early morning. I used to see them on my way to work. They all looked healthy. I know one is around here when the rabbits disappear and when I can hear the horrible screams of the prey when the coyotes hunt. I never worried about Gracie as she is too big to interest a coyote. A friend once saw a coyote dragging her small dog by its hind quarters trying to take it. The dog was crying and scratching the ground in an attempt to get some traction to run. My friend saved her dog who only had a few bite marks. Another friend’s dog, another small dog, was attached to an overhead line in the backyard. The coyote grabbed the dog in its mouth and ran. When they got to the end of the line, the dog popped right out of the coyote’s mouth and was saved. The wild turkeys are the most fun to watch. They travel in fairly large groups, fluff their tail feathers as they run and make all sorts of noises. They’re now pretty common, but the first time I saw them I stopped my car to watch.

Wild turkeys can fly unlike the ones on WKRP in Cincinnati, a program I used to love. I’ll never forget the program entitled Turkeys Away. In a Thanksgiving promotion the station decided to give away turkeys and to drop them from a helicopter.

“It’s a helicopter, and it’s coming this way. It’s flying something behind it, I can’t quite make it out, it’s a large banner and it says, uh – Happy… Thaaaaanksss… giving! … From … W … K … R… P!! No parachutes yet. Can’t be skydivers… I can’t tell just yet what they are, but – Oh my God, Johnny, they’re turkeys!! Johnny, can you get this? Oh, they’re plunging to the earth right in front of our eyes! One just went through the windshield of a parked car! Oh, the humanity! The turkeys are hitting the ground like sacks of wet cement! Not since the Hindenburg tragedy has there been anything like this!”