Sunday, April 24, 2016
The moon is full, or almost full, or just past being full. I used to know all the progressions of the lunar phases during my astronomical phase. Lately I'm in my "know nothing" phase.
One thing that's common knowledge: weird things happen during the spell of a full moon. When I lived in the city, the full moon yielded a marked increase in robberies, murders, and other unpleasant incidents involving unhinged individuals.
Here in the Tennessee mountain wilderness, the night of the full moon seems to inspire increased activity in the nocturnal residents of the forest: more bands of marauding coyotes and roving packs of wild dogs. Some of them (coyotes? dogs?) were howling unnervingly close to my bedroom window late last night. Owls in flight were screeching and hooting with unusual enthusiasm. I even heard squealing bats.
I'm very used to the sounds of nature at night, but last night the surplus of sounds was almost alarming. Even my trio of cats displayed unusual degrees of nervousness.
Early this evening, just after moonrise, I was sitting at the kitchen table in the company of this laptop. I suddenly hear very loud slurping sounds coming from outside near the back porch.
My cat Scratch happened to be outside (against my better judgement - but she's persistent). Scratch doesn't slurp and is never loud. This slurping sound was mega. I figured it was either a leaking pipe.....or a stegosaurus. And I wasn't in the mood to deal with either.
I reluctantly got up and looked out the kitchen window. There by the porch was the biggest dog I ever saw, drinking from a bucket of rain water. This canine was startlingly big. Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey big. It looked like a cross between a great dane and an Appaloosa horse.
My first concern was my cat Scratch - who could very possibly have already been eaten. The rainwater might be serving as a chaser to wash her down.
The dog saw me through the window and started to growl. Not a good sign. I'm an innocent entity out here in Nowhereland. Animal Control wouldn't come if I reported a herd of buffalo.
Worst of all, I have a huge uncovered kitchen window - just two feet above the floor - with only a thin sheet of glass separating me from the forest. The dog can see every inch of me. If he jumped through the glass I'd be history.
All of my cats enjoy sitting on a wooden box and looking out the kitchen window. If they were there now, they'd be instant targets for the dog. I quickly locked Scruffy and Bosco in a bedroom.
I seldom panic easily, but my heart was pounding at the bizarre thought that the dog might never leave. What if he decides to take up permanent residence here?
And where the hell is Scratch? Hopefully in a tree - - and not mincemeat stuck between Rover's teeth..
Is this story getting too long? I'm enjoying writing it, and I know you're enjoying reading it - - even you miserable critics who hate my blog.
The monster dog hung around for at least an hour. I couldn't do anything but wait it out. Finally I didn't see him. I opened the back door a crack and called "Kitzee!" (that's what Scratch answers to). In half a minute, Scratch appeared and darted in the door faster than I ever saw the old gal go. She was in one piece and still had her tail.
I breathed a Big Sigh of relief (capitalized for emphasis). I haven't seen the dog since.
I blame the full moon for the bizarre incident. I'm keeping the cats indoors.
I'm suddenly starting to feel unusually hairy...and realized that I haven't shaved in days. A beard is growing. My chest hair seems to be thickening.
Who the hell knows. I feel like howling.
All the moon photos were taken in my back yard a few nights ago.