Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Howling at Sirens

Today as Baxter, Kirby and I were out for our morning walk, we heard an ambulance coming down the road. We were stopped at a crosswalk and as the ambulance drew closer -- and louder -- Baxter became quite concerned. Suddenly, just as it passed us, he barked and then threw his head back and howled. I haven't seen him howl at a siren since he was a puppy. Baxter definitely has his own, unique howling voice...somewhere between Satchmo and a Bavarian yodeler. Nonetheless, it was quite the dramatic moment. Suddenly he stopped and just stood there as if nothing had happened. It was rather like an out-of-body howling experience, I think.

I wonder if he's been taking notes from the local coyotes...? A few nights ago, as we were watching a movie at home, we heard some very loud howling sounded like the coyotes were practically in our yard. Oh, we hear the occasional howl when a siren goes by. In the springtime we could hear a pretty good sized group that rather sounded like adolescents yipping and howling in the woods across from our home. But this was something quite spectacular and it was loud enough to be heard OVER the movie and the air conditioner and with the windows closed. Baxter and Kirby were silent. Baxter looked curious. Kirby looked nervous. My husband and I paused the movie and ran outside to listen. There must have been a dozen or more coyotes, very close by, singing along with a siren. It was quite the chorus of vocal stylings, apparently from coyotes of all ages and sizes. It went on for a few minutes and gradually tapered off as the siren disappeared into the distance. What a treat.

I love that feeling of wildness being so close to our home... And when Baxter or Kirby howls, it's a reminder that a little bit of that wildness lives with us in our home too.

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