“Beautiful moon,” Raymond announced casually last night as he glanced out the front door (which faces east and has a window in it). Sure enough, it was a great big moon shining brightly and beautifully in the night sky over Queensborough.
In short order, though, clouds moved in and covered that bright moon partially, and then fully. And in the interval Raymond and I served ourselves up dinner and watched the final episode of Season 2 of Homeland. And it was late and Raymond went to bed. But I, being a night owl, was still up.
And then I heard the wolves. Or are they coyotes? Whichever, it is a high lonesome – emphasis on lonesome – sound. We have heard them here at the Manse late at night before, but we don’t hear them that often. As I listened to the howling last night, it struck me that it might have something to do with the moon. Was that a full moon, perhaps?
Then, suddenly, it was like every dog – and this time it was dogs, not just the wolves – had started barking. All at once. What was this? I went out to the front yard, and looked and listened. The moon was back out from behind the clouds, and was now high overhead. It looked to be full. And I swear that every dog (and every wolf, and every coyote) in and near Queensborough was howling at it.
Howling at the moon! Such a cliche. But I guess cliches, given that they generally express truisms, must come from somewhere.
The howling, and the coldness of the night, and the loneliness of the sound and the feeling that it generated, made me very glad to get back into the nice warm brightly lit Manse, where a fire – okay, a fake electric fire, but still – was burning in our cranberry-coloured Home-Hardware-special fireplace. A cozy warm house is a very good place to be on a cold night when the wolves and the dogs are howling.
Anyway. Today I checked out the moon situation (thanks, internet!), looking into why all the animals had started howling at exactly the same time, a little after 1:30 a.m.
And now I know: yes, it was indeed a full moon last night. And what exact time did it become full? It was 1:37 a.m.
Which was exactly when the dogs and wolves set up their commotion.
How do they know? And: isn’t life in the country amazing?