Yesterday, I was certain that my post for Wednesday would be about the excitement, questions, and frustrations presented by my brand new monitor. It’s not as if those things weren’t much on my mind when I went to bed last night—especially since I had dragged my feet and never made the final decision on a calibration device. That means I have this shiny new screen on my desk, yet now I wouldn’t dare nail down the processing on a color image. (Today’s shot was processed quite some time ago, then saved as a jpeg, this morning. I will risk putting this up and deal with the embarrassment later.) I must make a decision and commit to the further strain on budget before this day is done. (Yes, I have winged it all this time, spending hours of hair-pulling and calibrating to dozens upon dozens of test prints.) Being convinced that I don’t have it in me to go through that again, I will finally add a calibration device to the long list of equipment. Does better late than never count here?
When I could no longer hold my eyes open to stare at all that glorious real estate on my desk top, I fell in bed with hopes of slowing down my racing body and mind to get a good night’s sleep. (After all, the new goal is to get up before the sun does.) I was making a little progress in slowing my brain and, I think, drifting off, when several ear-splitting high-pitched screams split the air. It sounded as though a dog were being torn to shreds. “What’s that?!”, I cried as I jumped up. “It’s just coyotes,” The Husband calmly replied. I was stunned that he was unruffled. Wide awake now, I knew as he was right, but I couldn't clear my mind of stories about neighbors' cats and small dogs that had fallen prey to coyotes .
The singing persisted. The pack, and judging by the racket—it must have been a quite a large pack, was just outside our bedroom. Now, coyotes are common place in Los Angeles—especially in any foothills area. In Shadow Hills, I heard their singing on many occasions. But in the past, they have been further away, and if I ever heard this many of them, their distance from me muted the sound. It’s not a sound that is easy to ignore when it’s that loud and that close. It’s eerie and just a little disturbingly primal. I wasn’t frightened, but it is a sound that if loud enough and close enough does tend to set your teeth on edge. Within a few minutes, it even got to The Husband, who dealt with the situation in a quite straightforward manner. He stomped to the door nearest the bedroom, flung it open, stepped out on the porch, and yelled at the pack—telling them in no uncertain terms to “knock it off”.
Whatever the occassion for the friendly singalong in our field, it took the coyotes quite a while to wrap up and move on. Yes, while The Husband was forceful, he wasn’t altogether successful. I even had the impression that the pack stuck around for a time chewing over the unseemly outburst from the porch. I lost track of how long the racket continued. It frayed my nerves a bit. The sound coyotes make is called singing, but believe me when it’s outside your bedroom, it won’t lull you to sleep. Thank goodness they eventually moved on but they left behind them an air of uneasiness.
The experience convinced me that I prefer my coyotes one at a time, in broad daylight, at a comfortable distance, and definitely not yelping and howling.
(Note: If you are curious about the sound that I finally fell asleep with, I found a link for you at National Geographic. To prepare yourself for the full experience, scroll down to “hear a coyote”, turn up the volume on your speakers until the noise is ear-splitting, close your eyes, imagine that you’re in bed and that it’s quite dark outside, and listen for a while. Have a nice nap.)