By now even the dogs from the houses on E—- Road are going off. That‘s three quarter’s of a mile, or more, away. He repeats this thing of barking up the dogs, keeping them fever pitched by occasional howling, (the dogs are howling now too). Then there are these quiet little fits of laughing and chuckling; including occasional breathing exercises of some sort; that only the coyote and I share. The dogs are too far away to hear. I wonder if this is one of the pups working on his stuff or if he’s checking out joining the doggie pack. They, (the pooch pack) don’t sound like they would go for that.
Having never heard a coyote do this, any where near this long; now, probably getting on to twenty or twenty-five minutes; I ‘m dodging in and out of thinking, well that the end of it…but then he goes another round. I’m also wondering where his coyote pals are. I would have expected others to show up or at least comment to this performance. No sooner do I think this, when another joins in from out in W—–’s field up by the corner of the four forties, northeast, of the White Tiger. Coyote number one hangs in for a minute or two, then, makes this little whine-yip comment a couple of times and walks off to the north.
The new one takes over the show. A little different in the content and the spacing seems more like six to seven seconds. This one starts laughing much sooner. I decide to climb up on the White Tiger and see if I can see this one too. I doubt it though, because he’s over in the sage and oaks by the corners, I know he’s not moving because the sound is not changing position. Watching to not get silhouetted against the west sky, (still a bit light), I stay low and go up to the front of the white Tiger and sit with my feet dangling over the windshield, close to the antenna dome for cover.
No need, I can’t see this one and I’m sure he can’t see me. I sort of look about for deer with the night glass, out in the White Tiger’s field and I see a couple; but, as usual, they aren’t too concerned about me if I move slowly; I do. Here I sit for another ten or fifteen minutes as it grows darker. (By now I can clearly see the Milky Way at Zenith; Jupiter’s been out for nearly an hour; I can just make out the little dipper stars; the western horizon still has a glow.) No moon ‘til after midnight so I decide to get down off the Tiger.
Then, I decide to walk up to the chain gate by the granite core to see if I can get closer to this yapper. About that time, he moves north twenty or thirty yards, maybe out to the edge of the field looking across to A—-’s. He’s still going strong. A—-’s dogs are going stronger than before with the big one howling more often. I keep getting the impression that the dogs have come out into the field but I really doubt they would come out too far, to a coyote; as that can be fatal, if the coyotes want roughhouse, instead of sing. These doggies are well aware of that.
Standing up by the gate lends a new sound. Echo! Now the coyote is echoing off the tree line west and above the Tiger. I’m in a great place. There is time for the entire song, bark, howl and the echo is immediate. Doggie barks too but with enough delay that I know they aren’t to far from home. Very cool, indeed! I’m debating walking up to the opening in the trees where I can see out into the field going over to A—-’s. About that time, the batteries in the night scope decide to retire. I also am wearing socks in sandals; perhaps not the best thing for tramping the wild oats and cactus in the dark. By now, it is full dark except for the light band low in the West.
Then, there are two little short snorts off in the sage brush. Some deer has gotten into my scent pool; (not much wind, erratic to none), commented, but not run off. Generally no need at night and running in the dark can get one hurt. But, it leads me to an epiphany! I have on bad foot gear, the batteries in the night scope don’t want to go for walk, NO flashlight, I’m already fifty yards from the White Tiger, it is the crepuscular hour and more; and I don’t have my pistol!