This morning before leaving to run some errands, though, I was sitting on the sofa reading when I saw a red-headed woodpecker on our shagbark hickory tree, pecking away. He was big and very handsome and I watched him searching for food wishing I could hear the knocking of his beak against the wood. I always think of knocking when I hear woodpeckers, like someone is building something or else the sound of someone at the door, so symbolically that's what comes to mind when I think about what might be showing up next December.
Later in the day I saw a cardinal, probably the same one I've been seeing all last week and this one, and again, felt his brilliance and cheer.
I spent the afternoon getting the barn set up for horses and snow, but also for a couple of nights of very cold temperatures, 9 tomorrow night, 0 on Sunday.
Before coming inside I was startled by the coyotes shrieking and yipping in the 11-acre field just next to the barnyard. The horses, pony, and donkeys all flew out of the barn, into the rain, on high alert. I was so annoyed that the coyotes were this close, that they had drawn my herd out of their dry clean stalls with hay into the cold rain. I went out and shrieked and howled and yapped back at them and they stopped. Whether they moved on or just went silent I don't know, but I coaxed Keil Bay back into his stall and the rest followed suit except for Little Man, who stayed out until I got a lead rope and led him into the dry barn.
We've been talking about getting a Great Pyrenees as a herd guardian. I'm not sure how serious we are, as I would want to enclose the property with woven wire if we were going to have a dog living out there, and I can't quite imagine us owning a dog who stayed outside 24/7. But tonight I announced we should get two of them and let them deal with the coyotes.
All of this makes me wonder what the coyotes mean for next December! A lot to think about with these omen days and the year to come.