A noise outside woke me at 3 am today. We sleep with open windows all-year and I knew this noise came from outside. I lay quietly for a minute, then heard it again: sharp howls coming from the direction of a nearby wooded area. Coyotes. They continued, interspersed with yips and barks, for another few minutes, then all was quiet. Coyotes are not news in the area but unlike most of my neighbors, I have never seen one close by. I was relieved my dogs were inside. While small they are not bite-sized lap dogs–at 23 & 30 pounds I’m sure they outweigh most local coyotes–but they are such wussy domesticated creatures that a sharp word from a coyote would overcome them.