Dear Tom, strange midnight doins’…

Here’s what happened last night~ So I’ve been sleeping in one of the other bedrooms because Oscar has a horrible cough. Yes, he got super sick ten days before I left for my father’s 88th birthday, and yes, he’s still coughing like a maniac. (Doctors don’t go to see doctors.)

Anyway, this particular bedroom juts out over the backyard. A tree grows almost into the bedroom. I can open the window next to the bed and step right out into the tree. If there was no screen, the tree would actually be in the bedroom. It’s kinda nice. I leave the shade open so I can watch the birds in the morning.

(When the kids were younger we taught them that the tree was their escape route from the second floor in the event of a fire.)

So last night I woke up. At 4:11 a.m. This weird noise woke me. I can’t quite describe it, but it was loud enough to wake me. Didn’t really disturb me much though, because it sounded like it came from the creek on the other side of the main road behind our court. Was a low-pitched sort of howl or growl.

I turned over and closed my eyes, ready to drift off, when I heard it again. This time, it was louder. Sounded like it was coming from my court, near the front of my house. A definite low-pitched growl or howl.

I thought – “Huh.” Once again, I turned over and closed my eyes. Not ten seconds later I heard it again. It sounded very close, as though it was coming from the side of our house near my garden. This time I sat up. I could hear the dog rustling around in the hallway outside my door.

The next thing I heard was this awful hellaciously loud low-pitched howl/growl from right beneath my bedroom window, directly under the tree. The dog began barking up a storm and launched himself down the stairs. I could hear him throwing himself at the back door.

I turned on the bedroom light, left the room, flipped on the big overhead hallway lights, called for Oscar- who did not answer as in he did not wake up- went downstairs into the kitchen and family room, flipping on lights everywhere.

Jake was desperate to get outside. I turned on the backyard floodlights and opened the back door. The dog leaped from the door to the edge of the deck in a single bound, and he made a beeline for the redwoods and the back fence. As I watched, he proceeded to pace up and down the back fence line for fifteen minutes, his nose right up against the fence. You know, back where we have that easement.

Finally Jake pranced back to the grass, hackles raised, tail in the air, and peed. At last he came inside.

He and I both went back upstairs. I turned off lights. Oscar still slept. I went back to bed and heard nothing else all night long.

I figure it was either Bigfoot or a couple of mating mountain lions. I know what raccoons sound like. Not a raccoon. Not a coyote. No way. Too loud to be bobcats. And a bear couldn’t escape that fast and besides, it would probably break the fence.

Again, all I can say is, “Huh.” I’m stumped.

California – we coexist with wildlife. As long as I have Jake I don’t mind a bit.


My Hero.



22 thoughts on “Dear Tom, strange midnight doins’…

  1. Diana Stevan

    Glad you have Jake, too. Love that you have a tree so close and can watch the birds. Nothing more wondrous or more soothing. As for the noise, like I said, good thing you have Jake. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Marylin Warner

    Julia, Jake is your guardian angel AND furry warrior. No telling what was actually out there.
    I love the tree escape for that bedroom. At my grandmother’s house, a tree grew very near the windows of the attic room where we all slept on holidays. It wasn’t close enough to just crawl out and onto a branch, but the older cousins created a rope ladder that did the trick. Such memories!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. juliabarrett Post author

      He is a funny guardian angel, Marylin. Not as much a Buddha as his predecessor. More the warrior type. The previous owners of the house planted a tree way too close – 45 years ago. Thus it’s grown right up against the house. We have to keep trimming it around the roof. Put you can literally step out of the window into the tree. My daughter especially loves it when birds build nests right nest to her window.


    1. juliabarrett Post author

      Oh I love flickers, Jaye! They pound on my redwoods, along with downies. I am getting one of those cameras ASAP!


    1. juliabarrett Post author

      Hi Amber! GSDs are amazing companions. Trained overnight. Not destructive. UNLESS- they don’t get enough exercise. Exercise is the key. They need to work. Too smart for their own good. Nice to hear from you! Hope all is well!



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