Day 27: Coyote Moon: The Legend of Ivy


Ivy poses for the camera, her 'heart' is visible

The kids were in VBS for the remainder of the week and William at scout camp next week; I was somewhat in limbo. I had errands and other activities, but nothing compared with last week’s adventures or what next week and beyond brings. I think sailors would have called today the doldrums or a place where the wind does not blow. The doldrums are close to the equator where Earth’s spin does not provide enough of a force for constant winds to blow, hence the name – the doldrums.

Olivia and William - ready for dinner

I took the kids to the pool today and sat on the sidelines and worked – I finished Wednesday’s post and worked on thank you notes and letters. It was productive, but even more fun was watching Olivia jump off the high dive with glee! William enjoyed the fun and we came home exhausted. Beth was out shopping and finishing last minute details before she goes home Friday for a funeral and a brief visit. One of her cousins passed away unexpectedly and she will be attending the funeral. I grilled streak and tried new two salads: one chopped tomatoes, mozzarella, basil in balsamic vinaigrette and cucumber, red onion, and red pepper salad in light vinaigrette. I used Paul Newman’s dressing this time. The salads were good and I will need to reproduce them at the cottage. With summer vegetables so plentiful, it is easy to whip these together with hamburgers, steak, or chicken. I enjoy cooking and it is fun.

The moon rises through the trees - waxing Gibbous 98% of full, 6/24/10

The best part of the day was the late night walk with Ivy. It was late, about ten, when I took Ivy for her walk before we all went to bed. I stepped outside, looked up at the sky, and saw the almost full moon – a waxing Gibbous – rising through the trees. I went inside to grab the camera and tripod and tried catching a shot. The beauty of digital photography is you get instantaneous results, but I think the technology is somewhat limiting, good old film would be best. I took many shots and Ivy bored of waiting, started chewing on a plant Beth intended to plant: my fault. It took several minutes and I got the shots I needed and took the camera inside the front door and started to leave: I was leaving and Olivia poked her head out and said she wanted to come along. And, she did.

I wanted to walk one circuit of the neighborhood and it should take about ten to fifteen minutes. Some walks with Ivy take longer and some are shorter, it all depends on her stops and sniffs. Our neighborhood is off a minor road and has one entrance. The neighborhood, developed in the 1970s, has about 100 homes with tree-lined parkways and yards with mature landscaping. It backs up to the Chicago Golf Club and is not far from a forest preserve. The land has been the home to wildlife until the last fifty or so years. A few years ago, we had a skunk underneath our deck, we have seen a fox run through our backyard, and there are coyotes in the area.  And the rabbits that use her backyard and garden area as a bunny playground intrigue Ivy. In the distance, we could hear coyotes yelping and howling. Olivia was worried and would turn off the flashlight; she was concerned coyotes would attack us and hurt Ivy. I told her not to worry. In reality, we were reasonably safe, we walking were on sidewalks and very noisy. We were not likely targets for a coyote or a pack of coyotes; but she would accept that we were safe.  Therefore, I made up a story. A story of how Ivy would protect us. It went like this…

There once was a dog, named Ivy. She was a Brittany Spaniel with white and brown (liver) colored fur and she had a brown heart shape on her side. Ivy was a wonderful dog; she was kind, loving, and a great companion for her owners, William and Olivia and their mom and dad. She was a special puppy. She loved sniffing and charging birds, squirrels, and the occasional bunny. She had learned to bark when she needed to go outside. She had many friends in the neighborhood. She had Bailey, Jake, Rusty, Barney, and many others. When she was on a walk, she remembered who lived where and would stop and look at the house hoping they would come out to play. One night, she encountered a pack of coyotes. Off in the distance the coyotes howled and planned their night. They were looking for food: skunks, squirrels, and raccoons if they could catch them. They were out searching when they came upon Ivy and her two owners – Olivia and her dad. Olivia was scared and Ivy barked to let her know not to fear for she had Ivy the coyote-biting dog! The coyotes were fearless as they circled the walkers and Ivy. The first coyote approached Ivy growling and trying to show Ivy who was boss and who would be dinner. Ivy was fearless and she growled in return. The coyote continued slinking up and went to attack Ivy, who quickly stepped aside and nipped the coyote in the rear leg. The coyote yelped in pain and retreated to her circle. A second coyote approached, also growling, coming from another direction. Ivy leaped at the coyote, barked, showed her teeth, and bit the coyote on the snout. The coyote yelped and scurried quickly back to her circle. The first coyote and a third coyote tried coming together, but quickly returned to the circle, yelping in pain, sent by the ferocious Ivy. A fourth and fifth coyote tried and learned the hared way that Ivy was no ordinary dog; she feared no coyote and nipped both coyotes sending them back to their circle. The coyotes tried repeatedly, but each time Ivy turned them back. Ivy growled and barked and soon the coyotes realized it was easier to chase a squirrel than Ivy and they left.  The coyotes told their coyote friends that this dog, with white and brown coloring with a heart on her side, was to be left alone. No question, she was a coyote biting dog and she feared no one.

 Our walk went without incident and Olivia, Ivy, and marveled at the moon and our moon shadows. We returned home, tucked Ivy away for the evening, and went to bed. The days are counting; I am almost a third finished with summer with two thirds remaining.  The proverbial half-empty or half-full paradigm, I prefer half full.

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