Saturday, March 3, 2018

Dodging Bites and Branches

This came from the Hastings police 3 days ago:
Hastings-on-Hudson Police Department: currently tracking a wild coyote that maybe rabid and attacked two people and their dogs this evening. Please Stay out of all wooded areas in particular Hillside Woods.

The next day this came:
The Hastings-on-Hudson Police Department is currently tracking a wild coyote that maybe rabid and attacked two people and their dogs this evening. One incident occurred on Kent Ave. The second occured in Hillside Woods. The injured parties were taken to the hospital.

And for a change in what to worry about:

But we haven't forgotten the coyotes:
Message from the Mayor: Coyote attacks in Village
Last night, between 6:30 and 8:00PM, three people were attacked and bitten by a coyote and a small dog was killed. Two of these attacks occurred on Kent and on Overlook, and one in Clarewood Village. All attacks occurred on the street. The three victims have been treated at hospital and released. The animal also charged a number of other residents (and, in several cases, their pet dogs) though did not inflict any injury. The coyote has not been located and destroyed. It was last seen running toward Hillside Woods.

Hastings-on-Hudson Police Department: Coyote Information & Safety Tips
On February 28, 2018 at approximately 3:50 PM the Village of Hastings on Hudson Police Department received a call from a resident who reported being involved in an auto accident with a coyote on Broadway near Burnside Drive. Patrols were detailed along with the Greenburgh Animal Warden. It was determined the coyote suffered fatal wounds. The animal was transported by the Greenburgh Animal Patrol to the Westchester County Health Department for testing.

How many coyotes were there? Are they all dead now? At least one is still at large, licking its chops in anticipation of munching a lapdog.

Tristram was bitten by a rabid dog on his honeymoon, at a Temple outside Hanoi. He got a series of rabies shots, in Vietnam and back in the US, and hasn't thought about it since. (Unlike his mother.)

One small dog was killed, and at least 4 people have been attacked. I am pretty sure the dead deer I saw on the Aqueduct on Tuesday was killed by a coyote. I didn't think about it at at the time, which doesn't say much for my powers of deduction.

One coyote was captured and killed on Dunwoodie Golf Course. It was a scratch golfer.

Yesterday afternoon my mother's caregiver, Ava, called me from the Red House. I don't want to say she was hysterical. She was in a tizzy. Ava is somewhat zoophobic. Insects freak her out. When we set mousetraps in Mom's house, one of us has to go check on it early in the morning, before Ava can even see it. So it follows logically that Ava would be rendered quasi-hysterical by the coyote alert in our village.

The local police had knocked on the Red House door and told Ava and Mom to stay inside, because the coyote had been spotted in our backyard. I reassured Ava that coyotes cannot open doors, so that as long as they stayed inside, all would be well. I read in the paper this morning that a few minutes after that call, a car killed a coyote across the street on Broadway and Burnside, saving the sharpshooters from Albany the trouble. I never saw the police, or the coyote. Not this time.

I thought the coyotes were going to be the scariest thing to contend with today. And the most troublesome thing to contend with would be the leak in the bathroom ceiling. The ceiling leaks whenever there is heavy rain, and today there was heavy rain, and so much else. Then the sink upstairs started leaking, or just oozing water onto the floor. And since the stand is encased in porcelain, I cannot turn off the water valves, which I am capable of doing when such things are accessible. At the same time, the toilet in the powder room next to the kitchen started leaking, but CSB was able to shut of the water valve.
Coyotes were looking like a minor blip in the day. The chickens were safely locked inside. And as I told Ava, coyotes cannot turn door knobs.

The wind keeps blowing. In the kitchen the wind generates a high pitched squeal that has something to do with the weather vane atop the cupola. Upstairs the wind sounds like whistling, particularly like the whistling of someone with a missing front tooth.

I had an appointment this morning with the water company meter reader. For many months they have been sending my mother (me) estimated bills because no one was reading the meter. The Suez service guy arrived. Ava wouldn't let him wait in the house, so he sat in his truck and I walked over to meet him. He drove down the driveway and I walked through the trees to the far northeast corner, where the property abuts our neighbor's property and Broadway. I noticed that the new owners of the Forge Cottage had installed a large wooden compost pile on our property, on our side of the fence. That seemed odd. I was thinking about how to address this issue, in a neighborly way. I haven't even met these new neighbors, and I didn't want the first thing I said to them to be: Please put your compost onto your side of the fence. And welcome to the neighborhood. Meanwhile, the water meter was right where CSB said it was. Then the young man headed back to his truck to get his tools, and I was still in the wooded area checking out the snow drops when there was ominous cracking, and then more ominous cracking and then an enormous limb came down, snapping off more limbs on its way down. I started running away from the falling tree, when I heard more and louder cracking, and an even bigger tree came down. I kept running to get out of the trees. The meter guy quickly departed, leaned out the window of his van and said they would call to make another appointment.

In the grand Darwinian tradition of idiots going for walks in swampy woods during a wind storm, I was almost flattened by a tree.

Afterward,I stopped in to see Mom and Ava (still all agog about the coyote). I did not mention the near miss by the descending tree.Going home I kep far away from any trees.

Just a few minutes ago I was having yogurt and berries in the dining room (the kitchen table can't go back until tomorrow) when I heard another loud crack and watched as the biggest of the birch trees went crashing down. Away from the house. That is two trees I've dodged today. I am feeling superstitious.

The birch is iconic to this house and this property. Something inside my head cracked with it.

PS: This was written yesterday, but I I couldn't post it as we had no internet. We still don't. I am getting creative.


Mickey and Flea said...

Oh . no, the big birch! I'm so depressed, though would be more so if it had fallen the other way.

So sad.

Diggitt said...

Glad to hear your comments on the coyote--even a thousand-plus miles away, I was shivering at those news alerts.

My sweetheart's little sister--for whom I used to babysit--was killed a few weeks after high school graduation by the falling limbs of a grand old tree. A tornado hit the evening of July 4, and the high school bleachers collapsed with all the fireworks fan on them. She ran home through the storm to get flashlights, since all the stadium and street lights went out.

Once when we lived on Hopke, a venerable tree was cracking and falling in a high wind. I went and woke up Lydia, so she could hear sounds that would always mean, "Do not go outdoors right now under any circumstances."

Rebecca Rice said...

I, too, am sorry to hear about the loss of the birch. But I'm glad that no one was hurt and that the rabid coyote got what was coming to him!

Lindsay duPont said...

yikes all around. xxxx

Marianna Houston said...

You live in the wild west of suburbs--funny they didn't mention all this stuff in the big Real Estate section article on Rivertown Suburbs--the place to go!
You are a brave warrior woman!