Last night we had a nearly-full moon, and the sky was unusually clear. What this tends to mean here in Boggy Hollow is - Predator Fest.
Luckily, the coyotes seem to have taken the night off, so we all slept mostly soundly. Having a pair of livestock guardian dogs in the house at night makes for a rough one when the coyotes are on the prowl. Our fellas pace and whine, and will occasionally growl or bark if they feel like the 'yotes are getting too close.
Instead of yips and howls, the night sounds were the hoots and calls of owls... and some other, less enjoyable, noises. But I'll get to that.
We have several Barred owls who visit/live in our cedar trees, just a few feet from our bedroom window. So hearing Who cooks? Who cooks? Who cooks for you? as we're falling asleep is a fairly regular occurrence. Last night though, another owl joined the chorus. I think it was a Great Horned owl. It's call was so much deeper and softer than the Barred. It was lovely to fall asleep to. With one, rather large exception.
A bit of prologue: The reason that the predators love a full moon is because it makes hunting so much easier. (This is the part where the not-so-nice sounds come in.) You see, we have a rabbit problem. At least we view it as a problem. It's more of an attraction to the wild things in our woods.
So, even though we were being serenaded to sleep by owl song, and even though the pups were uncharacteristically chill for a night with a near-full moon, the night did not sail along altogether undisturbed.
At about 12:30, all of the dogs suddenly perked up their heads and let out a series of soft whines. Not the usual ballyhoo for a coyote's yip, but an alert nonetheless. Bill got up to investigate. He popped his head out the front door for a listen, came back and crawled in to bed.
Me: Well, what was it?
Bill: An owl got a bunny. The bunny is screaming.
Now, there is no love lost between either of us and these wild rabbits. They are a bloody plague on my garden and flower beds, and I would *love* for them to just disappear overnight. Maybe not like that though?
Anyway - thanks (I guess?) to the assorted owls for taking care of business, and thanks, especially, for the lovely songs. Tonight is the full moon, so we may be experiencing round two this evening.
|A Barred owl seen on a walk near our farm. Photo credit: Billy Jackson 2020|