December 10, 2009 @ 11:11 pm
Debs Park wildlife. When we first moved here, we were thrilled to be living next to a large park. Debs Park is slightly run down but utterly charming and chock full of wildlife – rabbits, squirrels, owls, redtail hawks, and coyotes. Lots and lots of coyotes. On one occasion, I started counting the coyotes crossing my path and there were at least 8. Eight coyotes in one group!
Provocative urban coyotes. Mind you, I am thrilled to have coyotes around – in fact I’m a big fan of Canis latrans. But my dogs are not big fans, especially our female terrier mix, Leenah. Whenever she hears the slightest sound which might be coyote-related, she charges around the house or yard, barking and carrying on like 40 pounds of very mad dog.
Canine-induced insomnia. During the day, this is fine. Leenah is just doing her job. But for several nights in a row she would wake us up at 1 AM, then 4 AM, then 6 AM – all in a single night. A gnawing dread began to set in. What if this continued for months on end? I’d surely lose my mind. I was desperate for a good night’s sleep.
Noise to the rescue. And that’s why I’m grateful for noise. White noise, that is. We found that if we tuned the stereo to a station with pure static, that would mask the sounds from the park just enough to let Leenah – and her human companions – sleep through the night without being disturbed by howling (or creeping) coyotes.
Coda to coyote tale. Even better than FM radio static is an iPhone app, Sleepmaker Rain Free. These days, I hook my iPhone up every night to the AUX input of my husband’s circa-1990 stereo receiver. I queue up the Sleepmaker Rain track, Gentle onto forest foliage. Then I adjust the volume just so.