Saturday, December 16, 2006

Blue sky with white clouds on December 16, 2006The snow has all melted and temps have been in the 40s for several days now. There is blue in the sky and some of the clouds are white and fluffy.

Still, without the clean snow on the ground to brighten things up, the feel of the outdoors this time of year is cold and dark.

As we approach the shortest day of the year on December 22, many of us need some extra coffee to get through a normal day.

Today, December 16, sunrise is 7:55 am and sunset is 5:01 pm.

Coyote picture from the Michigan DNR siteCoyotes in the neighborhood are new since we moved here fifteen years ago. Now sightings are frequent and night time howlings are common.

Never before have the howlings sounded like they were right outside the window - until last night. Our three dogs woke me up with their barking and hysterical running around the house at a time when I knew they would rather be sleeping. The noise outside was bone chilling.

Soon everything was quiet again. But the memory lingered on this morning. I checked out the Michigan DNR (Department of Natural Resources) site for some information and found these helpful coyote facts and tips:

  • Coyotes have dispersed into southern Michigan without assistance from the DNR.

    OK, we won't blame the DNR for importing coyotes.

  • Coyotes are opportunistic and will eat almost anything available. . . .They will also prey on unattended small dogs and cats, if opportunities exist.

    This is too horrible to think about.

  • Minimize potential conflicts with coyotes: Never approach or touch a coyote

    Really? Well, OK. Thanks for the advice. Well worth my taxpayer dollars to fund your agency.

  • Never intentionally feed a coyote.

    I'm much more concerned with the unintentional feeding of a coyote.