To send out this decade on a happy “note” I bring you recordings of my Malamute Conall singing along with some local coyotes.
Coyotes are sometimes called song dogs because they’re so vocal. Their scientific name – Canis latrans – translates as “barking dog.” They possess versatility, with high-pitched howls, barks, and yips in their repertoire. Rural or urban, coyotes make their presence known, usually after dark when they’re most active and communicating with each other.
Here in Idaho’s rural mountains, with virtually no human noise at night, coyotes are easily heard, sometimes so close and visceral that my heart beats faster as I awaken and the hair on the back of my neck rises. And because their calls echo so well, especially on clear nights, what might be one or two coyotes communicating across a distance can sound like entire packs.
I was lucky enough to hear a gray wolf howling in the forest above me, once, soon after moving here in 2005. Very distinctive and easily distinguished from the howl of a coyote. It was midsummer and my bedroom window was open, allowing the wolf’s song to reach my ears. Since being removed from the endangered species list in 2008, allowing them to be hunted and trapped in Idaho, the wolves have retreated much father into the forest. I miss hearing them.
In these two recordings, the coyotes are a ways off so you’ll have to turn up the volume to hear them between Conall’s contributions.
I recorded the first audio at 1:16 am on November 28th. I’ve been trying to record just the calls of the coyotes, which echo and reverberate across the flank of the mountain behind me, but Conall always gets outside first and adds his voice to the mix. You’ll hear me snapping my fingers a couple times to distract him from howling but it didn’t work.
This second recording is from a few nights ago (December 27th) at 12:49 am. Conall wasn’t in the mood for a singalong and so barked with annoyance instead.
[Each time I played these audio clips while putting the piece together and previewing it, both my dogs jumped up from their beds in my home office and dashed out the dog door, looking for coyotes!]
Nature’s music – howls and barks, bird song, burbling streams, whispering trees, even thunder – is the best. All of it. Let’s protect it.
Thank you for reading my blog and welcoming me into the WordPress blogging community, my newest family of choice. You all are great and I look forward to meeting more of you in 2020.
Here’s to a barky, yippy, and howlingly-great new year and new decade! Sing!
Feature photo: wolves in fog and trees by hippopx