12 Salamanders/5 Owls/3 Coyotes and a Full Moon

Last night I took a 3-4 mile slow run, solo as usual, such a relief to not be training for races. The salamanders were out, crossing the path as they do, blithely and blindly.They are totally cute, with knobby eyes and splayed-out toes, and they walk like this:

-right front foot and left rear foot forward / 2-second pause / left front foot and right rear foot forward. The salamander slo-mo march. Counted a dozen of them.

   There are small owls that hang out by the sides of the trail, hunting for mice. 5 of them, here and there. They’d let me get maybe 40-50′ away, then float off. Owls make no sound when flying. I’ve heard that their wing feathers have tapered edges so they’ll be silent in flight. Miceys, comin to gethcha. 

   As I got back down into the wetlands, I heard 3 coyotes, singing to each other from different spots. Each call had 3, 4, or 5 notes. Starting low and ending high. One guy had a really high note. They’d yodel a bit in between some notes. The full moon broke through the clouds. Who wouldn’t howl with joy?

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

4 Responses to 12 Salamanders/5 Owls/3 Coyotes and a Full Moon

  1. How wonderful, Lloyd. I've seen owls and coyotes (heard more often than seen, both of them) but the salamanders sound ever such fun to watch.
    And the full moon. It actually woke me up in the middle of the night, wondering where the light was coming from.

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

  2. A real pleasure to read, nice to know there are others enjoying the world under the moonlight.
    Out here we have Barn Owls, they too fly silently in their hunt for field voles. I have been told they really struggle once their wings are wet so the clear moonlit nights make for great hunting for them.

    I will spare you a thought when I next see one :o)

  3. A lot of barn owls have moved onto my place in the last couple years, probably due to the bumper crop of gophers and the large number of mature oaks we have. I kept hearing a loud clacking of birds flying at night, it took a while but finally I spotted the owls doing this. This is not when they're hunting but when mostly flying around in pairs, they clack very loudly and shriek. I never expected that they would make this much noise!
    We have other owls that do the hoot hoot, last week the whole area was full of them hooting back and forth.


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