It’s 3:05 am on Thursday

By Lisa Lavallee

Chatham County, NC – It’s 3:05 am on Thursday.

I woke up with a thirst from having spent the previous day working (sweating) in the garden.

The house was warm, almost 80 degrees, due to the fact that the air conditioning unit had died during an ice storm in the previous winter trying to warm us.

So, I ventured outside into the cool 65 degrees with a glass of lemonade to sit on the front porch overlooking the pond and cool off.

It wasn’t long before the peaceful cadence of the bullfrogs and the haunting call of the Whippoorwill was interrupted by the lone howl of a coyote.

coyote howlingNow, having lived here for eight years, I have never seen a coyote. I’ve only heard them out in the distance. It was amazing how quickly the neighborhood dogs responded to its lonely cry.

The lone coyote soon took up with some others to (which I assume) form a pack. Their howls turned into yips and yaps so urgent and cohesive, that at the time – to quote one of the most overused phrases – it raised the hairs on the back of my neck.

My two cats, however, seemed to be oblivious to the background noise, as they laid languishing on the chaise lounges, licking their fur clean.

I wondered if their native instincts had entirely been bred out of them to the point where they could ignore such an imminent threat. It made me concerned for their well-being in such a diversely populated natural area that posed innumerable hazards.

However, this natural beauty and wilderness, is one of the main reasons I moved to Chatham County. With such a rich abundance of fauna and flora, how can one not venture outside in the wee hours of the morning to absorb everything our countryside has to offer?

Regardless of the hunting pack of coyotes, I soon found myself relaxing enough to go back to sleep to the peaceful sounds of the bullfrogs and Whippoorwill which posed no threat to my cats or my well being.