Something This Way Comes


Beneath a sky filled with migrating geese, a coyote pounces like a cat playing with a mouse as it hunts food out in the tree-lined pasture at sunset. From the night sounds that accompany the owls and crickets, the howls of coyote make it clear that the packs have grown exponentially. But that isn’t all that has changed in the last year.

The cattle here on the ranch have been seen twice in the last week almost stampeding from the bottomland and have been separated twice from the young. There is something out there and I am no longer convinced that it is just several large packs of coyotes.

I have as yet to see the tracks, but large cats (cougars) moving through the area are known to cause such a ruckus among the cattle. It is also something to think about on daily walks with old Frosty. The cattle bawl yearly when their young are taken away, but nothing quite like they did for those several nights last week. This happened several years ago as well.

Rains have all but eliminated the spider web balloons that drifted through the sky the previous week. Along with the cool temperatures the rain made for a fine setting for listening to Van Morrison’s Moondance album and completing another round of edits to The Journey of Samson Pyne.

The longer I am here, the more amazed I am at the way life mimics life. There are balanced stable times across the countryside when things seem safer. There are those environmentally unstable moments when complexity and overpopulation seem to demand uncertainty. There are are times when boundaries are respected and times when they are crossed;  times when the woods are filled with sound and times when it is much too quiet. Times when community interactions across the countryside between plant and animal can just as easily be compared to human population centers and our interactions with each other. I guess it is true that snakes are snakes, turkeys are turkeys, and a horse is a horse, of course — unless it isn’t.