It has been hot in Michigan. Like, buy-a-one-way-ticket-to-Alaska hot.
Often on warm nights I drag my pillow outside to try to find a cool breeze. After tossing in my bed for a couple of hours Tuesday night I headed for the porch. There wasn't much breeze there, so I decided to try the hammock.
Me and my sheet were nicely settled into the hammock and I was listening to the frog croaking nearby, when I heard a snorting, shuffling sound. The grass rustled. I held my breath as a skunk ambled within a foot or two of where I lay suspended between two trees. Then it passed me and I unclenched my muscles and closed my eyes.
I still couldn't sleep, so after awhile I decided to go back to the porch. I was just starting to sit up in the hammock when I heard frantic clawing and snorting from the tree behind my head. I froze while the skunk had a panic attack. Seconds passed. Adrenaline tingled in my fingernails. The frantic sounds subsided to snorting and shuffling as the skunk moved back in the direction from which it had come. I waited a few minutes and then, keeping to parts of the lawn illuminated by the yard light, I returned to the porch.
I rested my head on my pillow on the porch and was just drifting to sleep, when a howl behind me jerked me awake. Awooo. Awhooo. Augh-augh-augh-woooo. A coyote. I had heard a pack of them howling in the distance earlier in the night, but this one seemed to be practicing his solo from my back yard.
After a few more tosses and turns on the porch (and willing myself not to think about rabid bats), I crept back into the house. Needless to say, it wasn't a restful night.