One afternoon about 3:00 p.m., I heard sirens on a nearby main road. The sirens went on for quite a while and included several pitches. The vehicles probably included those from the police and fire departments, and perhaps an ambulance. I listened as I brushed my horse, Button.
She turned to listen to the noise, too–not that she hadn’t heard sirens before, but these did seem to be excessive.
Then, voices nearby were raised in a chorus that matched the pitches of the sirens! The large pack of coyotes in the area joined in the song. I usually hear the coyotes’ chorus at dawn or dusk, not mid-afternoon, but they added spontaneous flourishes and harmony to the sirens that midday. One ran up and down the scale in an amazing arpeggio. It was a magical choral moment.
They typically call to each other in greeting to help them stay in contact and reunite. On that afternoon, did they believe the sirens were pack members calling hello, or did they simply grab an opportunity to enjoy a musical interlude in the afternoon?
Book Note: I live in the Sonoran Desert and enjoy the wildlife immensely. I have written three books on Sonoran Desert wildlife, one for little ones about desert tortoises entitled Don’t Call Me Turtle; and two others for all ages, called Don’t Make Me Flyabout roadrunners, and Don’t Make Me Rattle, about rattlesnakes. They are written in rhyme and vividly illustrated to make learning the science throughout fun.
These books make excellent gifts and can be used for school projects, too. Check out my ‘Don’t Series’ today.
A friend sent me Tom Gauld’s cartoon about an autumn walk’s inspiration.
The poet thinks, “I’ll write a poem about the melancholy beauty of leaves falling in the autumn sun.”
The detective novelist thinks, “I’ll write a story about the autumn winds revealing a headless corpse hidden in a pile of leaves.”
I’m a member of a local poetry society, so I might briefly consider writing a poem about leaf loss. However, my poetry tends to the kind that ends up in science-based picture books. That’s because I believe picture books should rhyme.
However, I do like mysteries and horror stories, so yes, I would definitely write a story about a headless corpse being found in a pile of leaves! When I started writing books, I wanted to write murder mysteries. Even though most of my time is taken up with the children’s books, I am working on a couple of mystery series. Maybe one will include a headless corpse . . .
Since I’ve been staying in my den more, I’ve been tuning in to old TV shows. I enjoy the old Westerns set in the US Desert Southwest—maybe because that’s where my good friend and author, Elaine A. Powers, lives! The dry climate there is so different from my humid island weather. Where I live in the Exuma Island chain in The Bahamas, the temperature only varies between 28.0° Celsius (82.4° Fahrenheit) and 20.0° Celsius (68° Fahrenheit).
I mention this because I was watching the show, The High Chaparral, which is set in the Sonoran Desert, outside of Tucson, Arizona. In one episode, the character Manolito complains that the desert is very hot during the day, but so cold at night. Summer temperatures can exceed 40°C (104°F) during the day, but fall to around 20.0° Celsius (68° Fahrenheit) at night!
That’s a huge drop! I wondered how that happens, so I asked Elaine, of course. It’s due to the lack of water. No humidity! The sun warms the ground during the day, which raises the temperature. The lack of water in the ground means all that heat is lost after the sun sets; and the lack of vegetation helps in the loss of heat from the ground, too.
I realized it’s the humidity here in the islands that helps maintain our temperatures, so we don’t heat up too high during the day and lose as much of the sun’s warmth at night. Our temperatures stay within a narrow range, while those in the desert swing wildly.
I’m glad I live here, in this perfect place, here on Warderick Wells Cay in the Caribbean. It could be the most perfect place in the world. Well—except for one thing. The hurricanes. I’d love it if you picked up a copy of my latest adventure/survival story, Curtis Curly-tail is Blown Away! The kids will learn all about how my friends and I work to survive the hurricanes and how the people of The Bahamas help each other to rebuild. It’s an adventure tale with a happy ending—and environmental and weather science woven into the story. That’s Elaine’s specialty: making science books fun! Check her books out here and click on the amazingly fun workbooks to see the educational supplements associated with her books, published by Lyric Power Publishing, LLC.
Really! Check out Elaine’s books! She loves making science fun to read, in the hopes budding scientists will be born. And don’t forget about me! I have my own YouTube channel, where you can learn about Everything Reptiles! Come visit me today at Curtis Curly-tail Speaks. See you next time!
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