The temperature in our bedroom upon arising this AM was 62 degrees. According to C'town Accu Weather, outside is 27°. We shut down the heat upstairs almost all day, turning it on only to warm up the bathroom for showers.
We've slept comfortably under comforter and what I call the Bed Sweater, a king-sized bed afghan knitted out of cashmere-silk wool -- is there such a thing? -- by MIL long ago, which we never use at home. It's too nice, and way too warm, generally. It's perfect for current conditions here. However, as el V left yesterday afternoon for long weekend in NYC and then George Mason University, I wondered how snug sleeping would be without him. Turns out to still be perfect, though the waking up isn't as enjoyable.
It's official: coyotes are here, in large numbers, in all of Maryland's counties. Part of the official word is that there are way too many deer in Maryland, but I knew that already. Coyotes do kill the fawns -- several of those kills were discovered this spring. This aspect is pleasing to the Fish and Wildlife people, because the deer are also throwing twin births (hormones in the water from fertilizer run-off?), which used to be unusual, which contributes to the deer population explosion -- that devour the crops and other produce in this agricultural economy.
A Horse Lady at the library yesterday informed we interested sorts that 20 - 25 years ago you seldom saw a fox in Kent County. Now the fox hound pack, horse-riding hunters, chase them from late fall through until cubbing season (March and April), when the babies start to come out of the dens, who aren't experienced or fast enough to take refuge if a hound finds them. In the 1730's this proper red fox was introduced here from England in order that proper fox hunting take place. The point for horses and hunters and dogs is the running, for no foxes are allowed to be caught or killed. (The first fox hunting club - pack was established in Maryland in 1650, when Robert Brooke arrived here with his pack of hunting dogs, which were the root of several strains of American Hounds. These dogs remained in the Brooke family for nearly 300 years.)
Horse Lady's horses love fox hunting time. Running all over the place as fast as you can go! With lots of other horses! Yay! She had to rush off to take care of her horses as they knew, in the ways that horses know these things, that they were going out for the first Hunt of the year this morning, and were 'champing at the bit."
The fox hunters and the Fish and Wildlife people are concerned that the coyote population will soar like the deer population (Lyme's has soared again -- our admin at the Starr Center had it, and all the evidence is that it is very painful, very awful, and the medication for it basically leaves you starving, since so many foods react badly with it). Coyotes kill and eat foxes.
Her listeners disbelieved Horse Lady's information that the coyotes had arrived, and were here at least five years ago. "I've never seen one!" Horse Lady snorted. "Coyotes are very good at that." She warned that your small dogs and cats better be kept indoors now.
I asked about the black bears. She said one had been spied a couple of years ago, making its way down to Alabama "for some unfathomable reason." It was was tracked all the way from New Jersey by the Fish and Wildlife people in order to learn what they can about black bear migration from north to south.
This morning's hard ground (no mud or ice), sunny and bright and cold weather -- makes perfect fox hunting conditions.
There are many Hunt Clubs here in Maryland, and throughout the Delmarva region, which includes D.C., which has a Club with its own pack, and Pennsylvania too, where the region merges with that north of Baltimore.
I wish "Maryland (1940) a 20th Century-Fox Hunting and Riding Film at Roxy" were available on dvd.