The coyotes howl (and other unintended consequences)

I live on the edge of the woods. Beyond the woods are wetlands with ponds and a creek. These environs are home to deer, raccoons, opossums, coypu, Sasquatch*, rabbits, and a variety of birds. At least one pack of coyotes lives here. I’ve seen them a few times, and they leave little gifts** along the trail where I walk. Before I ever saw them, though, I heard them.

I don’t always know what makes them howl, but sometimes I do. I’ve come to expect to hear them when I hear something else first: a siren. Shortly after I hear a siren begin to wail, I often hear a pack of coyotes doing their best to drown it out. I doubt that the police officers and ambulance drivers hear it, as they’re rather preoccupied at the moment. I bet they would be surprised to learn that they often make coyotes howl. Not only is this an unintended consequence, it’s likely an unknown consequence.

Recently I read an article about how stone stacking has a detrimental impact ecologically, geologically, and aesthetically. Moving small stones can leave animals unprotected, cause soil erosion, and tick off people who want to see nature left alone. I had no idea. I had never thought about it.

Imagine everything that is impacted by what you do. Never mind; that’s impossible. We never can know it all (and some of it doesn’t matter). But what if we were more thoughtful about the consequences of our actions? We can train ourselves to think more this way:

  • If I work from home two days a week, how will it impact my coworkers?
  • When I mow my lawn at 7:00 on Sunday mornings, does it bother my neighbors?
  • What if I use less plastic?
  • When I lose my temper, what does that do to my health? my kids?
  • If I put an inflatable Calvin Coolidge figure on my front lawn, will the neighborhood association establish new rules that cause future generations to forget the meaning of Presidents’ Day?

It’s good news that we can change and grow. Our minds are trainable. We can make a habit of considering consequences more deeply, broadly, and creatively. As a result, we can make better decisions and create more positive impacts. Life is better when we switch off the brain’s autopilot and live more thoughtfully.



4 thoughts on “The coyotes howl (and other unintended consequences)

  1. What an excellent post, and hilarious. Love the *…. presumably. 🙂 That got me going, then the Calvin Coolidge inflatable and NA/HOA image was priceless. I think mowing your lawn at 7a on a Sunday morning Is just fine. It only bothers those who are home who aren’t doing the same… though, it starts to get hot, though I wait until after 10 and enjoy the silence and my coffee… and smile at how annoyed it makes me when neighbors do that. Seriously though, It becomes this wonderful meditation of life where, “You aren’t required to ask permission from me to do your thing.” And, I used to live on 50 acres in the crook of the confluence of 3 Arroyos in NM. If it gets too bad, I can visualize that, or that AND turn up the Sonos. Either and both ways is great. I feel that asking the questions to at least bring you into caring is important… then again… neighbor yelling at me while mowing my lawn too early and I’m, “WHAT? WHAT? I CAN’T HEAR YOU OVER THIS MOWER. I’LL COME OVER AND SEE WHAT YOU WANT ONCE I’VE FINISHED.” Lol

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, Elizabeth!

        I always smile when I see like x 25 in 25 seconds or so. “Oh, someone’s skipping like stones again falling prey to the manicy of their newsfeed. Oh well, skewed stats are not a concern of mine.”

        Though, I appreciate when people read, and even hop back up to re-read as the comment to me is a mini 1-2 conversation. Sometimes they get going, sometimes not, though again, it’s always good to know someone actually reads what I write, too. Getting the humor is a big bonus. Thanks for yours. That was the best “ * “ I believe I’ve seen. Just put it in there as normal qualified with an asterisk, and of course I immediately scroll down and just bust out laughing, “presumably.” Now, I’m laughing again. Thanks, Elizabeth. This is a great post on lots of levels. The story. The landscape. The siren-howl 2-way street of how one may effect the other and have no idea — hence, beg the question — and… the front yard. BOOM non sequitur that full-on fits… because you have it in the story. What did Mark Twain say? “Of course truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.”

        Liked by 1 person

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