Today’s Public Service Announcement

March 31st, 2006

You’ve just arrived in the country in some quiet midwestern state. You know, one of those flat ones. You’re in the kind of place where the sky is black at night, not orange. The kind of place where you can see stars, planets, and galaxies at night. The kind of place where the loudest noise at night comes from insects.

Sounds peaceful, right?

Then all of a sudden, you hear a frightful noise. Sounds like somebody is screaming. What’s going on? Then more people start screaming. Are you in danger? Are there some redneck muggers out there?

Nope. Chances are you’re hearing several of these:

This is a coyote. It’s rare to see one, but common to hear them at night. On a calm night in Kansas, you can probably hear them from almost a mile away.

The sounds that they make can sound amazingly human-like at times. I tried to find some good recordings, but I couldn’t. The closest I could find was this page — try listening to the long howl and the coyote pack. (Unfortunately, there’s a lot of background noise on the coyote pack recording)

Terah was scared the first time she heard these, and didn’t believe me for awhile that they were coyotes.

So why am I telling you this?

Well, mainly because I’m surprised at how many people have never heard coyote packs howling. If you’ve lived all your life in a city, that’s quite possible.

Plus, Cliff provided some inspiration. (Great post, Cliff)

PS… For those of you not keeping track very closely, this story was posted on March 31 local time, and is not an April Fool’s joke.

This photo is public domain from the Wikipedia entry on coyotes.

Categories: Outdoors

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