October 31, 2015

The howling

I hear it's Halloween. Faaabulous! Here in the Hudson Valley, everyone is Halloween-mad (which you'd know if you read Xmas Carol; I'm just saying). I went to the grocery store today and the streets were filled with people in costume. Halloween is practically a religion around here. The stores have people in costume outside their doors to give candy away to passing kids. And inside the stores, the employees are dressed like true believers. I'm tellin' ya: they're Halloween-mad here.

So it's probably a good time to mention the howling. We've been hearing the strangest howls just after dark. Whatever these creatures are, they congregate right next to our house and howl their hearts out. And it's such a weird howl! Like nothing I've ever heard. (And there are no wild ground animals on the farm. I haven't even seen a squirrel, though there are lots of trees. It's the howlers; they're killing everything out there.)

Yesterday I ran across an explanation of what these critters are. They're hybrids of wolves, coyotes and dogs. Here's an excerpt from the linked article:
An analysis of 437 hybrid animals found that coyote DNA dominates its genetic makeup, with about one-tenth of its DNA from dogs, usually larger dogs such as Doberman pinschers and German shepherds, and a quarter from wolves.

The animal’s cry starts out as a deep-pitched wolf howl that morphs into higher-pitched yipping — like a coyote.
That's exactly what I hear. It's such a wild yipping/howling. I still haven't seen the animals but I know where they live. The farm's manager pointed out a group of trees and said "that's where the coyotes live". Mind you, they're a bit more than coyotes. Puts a chill in your spine, it does.

Hopefully this news will put a few goosebumps on your arms. Now, if you want to go hog-wild and really get scared, pick up a copy of Xmas Carol at the Kindle store. The tale begins on Halloween day, so you'll be in synch with the seasons if you start reading it today.

Have fun. And Happy Halloween, me bloggies.


cm said...

I read the link and watched the video in the link. I hope you watched it because it tells you what to do if you run across one, which you might, based on what you're hearing. Be careful and ah-wooooo!

writenow said...

I never watch video. It's too slow. Reading is the way information gets into my head. You could tell me, though. They live in an area that's basically a bog, and now we've noticed lots of muddy "dog" tracks on the road. Seems there's a big group of these wolfotes (better than coywolves, no?). No wonder the ground animals disappeared. I can't wait to see a wolfote. Maybe I can make friends with him. Here, wolfote; nice wolfote.

cm said...

I think you did watch the video and now you want to do exactly opposite what it says. Don't try to make friends with them. They are not like dogs. Make loud noises to scare them away if one is coming at you. You may never see one because they don't want to be seen. They are good at hiding and blending in. They're nocturnal too. Be careful.

writenow said...

Okay, dad.

cm said...

And don't forget your mittens and scarf.