Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Last night was a sleepless one--or at least sleep only in short bursts. Since we moved the camper to be closer to the bath-house, there are more sounds from the nearby pastures and hills. Between the coyotes howling, the dogs barking at the coyotes, and then the dogs howling with the coyotes, last night's sleep was fitful at best. I woke three times that I recall to a canine symphony starting with yipping and howling coyotes in the not too far away distance, joined by barking dogs in three pitches: Tucker, Cash, and Gus, building to a cacophony of barking and howling dogs and coyotes. We looked out the camper window to see Cash with his nose pointed high in the air singing, "aaaawwwwwooooooooooo!"

And somewhere in between was this sleepy conversation:

--unidentified animal noise--

--barking dogs--

Jon: "What was that?"
Me: "It was a cow."
Jon: "That was NOT a cow."
Me: "No? I thought it sounded like a cow."
Jon: "It sounded like a mountain lion."
Me: "I didn't think we had mountain lions down here."
Jon: "Me neither. Maybe it was a bobcat."
Me: "Okay, now I am totally freaked out and I have to go to the bathroom."

All of this makes me nervous because tomorrow our neighbor is putting 20 ewes and their lambs in our orchard and corral areas to eat down the grass. It is a mutually beneficial agreement: our grass needs to be eaten and the sheep are hungry.

But, I am worried about the coyotes preying on the sheep. Our neighbor says as long as our dogs are around the sheep should be fine. I am worried about the dogs chasing the sheep, or worse, because our dogs aren't accustomed to livestock. Our neighbor says his sheep are used to dogs, but still, I worry.

Really, I couldn't sleep last night worrying about it. Then again, maybe it was the coyotes...


jer said...

uhhm helloooo???

isn't tucker technically a SHEEP dog??

Leah said...

Oh, the ranch life is just sweeeeeet, isn't it? You have to grin and bare it. Beats livin' in the city amongst the stupid humans!