Coyotes and Ham Sandwiches 12/1/23

Coyotes and Ham Sandwiches 12/1/23

Posted by Mandy + Steve O'Shea on

  Happy Friday from a rainy north Georgia.  We got down to 20 degrees Tuesday evening.  We had been gone for 6 days to visit my family in CA and when we left, the forecast was all warm temps, so we had low stress and good times.  We had a few hikes on the coast, a day burying the kids in the sand on the beach, lots of laughs with family, and a touch of the holiday traffic. 

   We spent 2 days with my brother in San Francisco too and saw coyotes 2 nights in a row.  On the farm, we are surrounded by huge packs of coyotes.  They howl and squeal and keep us up at night. It's kinda wild how many of them there are.  Every time a passing train honks its big airhorn, the coyote packs respond by howling.  Neat, but eerie.  Our neighbor claims a pack of them not only killed his dog, but tree’d him in the past.  With all that activity out here, you’d think in 13 years, we’d have seen a one, but we never have.  Yet we walk out of my brother’s apartment in North Beach (Little Italy) and right across the street are 2 big coyotes.  Completely unfazed by our presence.  We were blown away.  

   The next night found us with a ham sandwich in one hand and a glass of wine in the other, walking up to Coit Tower, which is a large monument built to honor the firefighters who worked to save the city after the great 1906 earthquake and subsequent fires that swept through.  It’s also the site of some family history as legend has it a teenage boy that may or may not be my father, and his friend may have made headlines in the paper back in the 60’s for somehow scaling the walls and finding their way over 200 feet to the top and in a rascally fashion, unscrewing the lights of what is normally a brilliantly lit monument.  Not the worst crime a teenager has committed, but he did make the paper.  Allegedly. 

   So anyways, as we climb the steep winding hill towards the entrance to the small wooded park that surrounds the base of the monument, we hear howling nearby.  Bite the ham sandwich, sip the wine, enter the park, the howls keep getting closer and closer.  As we crest the first flight of concrete stairs, someone suggests we turn off into the woods instead of continuing up the lighted steps towards the monument. The howling coyotes have gone quiet. Bite the sandwich, sip the wine, enter the dark woods.  Just half a minute into the dark and we stop.  A breath pulls up short.  A finger is pointed.  A glass is sipped.  Just 20 feet to our left, lit only by the nearly full moon through the tree tops, are two coyotes laying on their stomachs, calm as a mug of warm milk, just staring at us.  They are fascinating.  Their behavior is not threatening, not friendly, nothing like any dog I’ve ever encountered.  Incredibly aware of our presence, they barely react to it, other than the cessation of howls.  As I said…eerie. 

   We determined it best to find our way back to the stairs in order to complete our pilgrimage to the tower and the gorgeous view of the city line, the water and the Bay Bridge.  It was a beautiful night.  We listened to a little British music from the 80’s, finished our hammy’s and our wine, had a few laughs, didn’t try to climb the tower, and eventually made our way back to the apartment.  Coyote’s aside, if you haven’t been to Little Italy in SF, consider it.  It’s awesome.  We had the best food and drinks, the best time walking around and visiting shops and meeting people, and it rolls right into China Town where we ate some amazing soup dumplings.  

   Back to Tuesday…stressed about holiday traffic, potential missed flights, and 20 degree weather killing all of our spring plants, we navigate our way back to Georgia and have a surprisingly seamless experience.  At the farm by 11pm, check the heaters, seal up the greenhouses real tight, drip some faucets, and sit in the dark and cold stillness with my cat in my lap looking at the night sky.  Great trip.  Great to be back.  Happy to be a farmer in this moment. We managed to avoid busted pipes and frozen plants.  I hope y’all managed the same.  The next few days will continue to rain pretty good, so we’re catching up on all the indoor chores.

   Christmas music has infiltrated commercials and radio waves and folks are getting festive and/or scrambling for holiday gifts.  We are a big fan of supporting small businesses, which in our mind make the world a more rich and interesting place, so Mandy has put together a list of local holiday fares and makers for you North Georgians to explore.


   If you’d like for us to be a part of your holiday shopping, we always have gift cards available and our Spring flower subscriptions are also now available if you are looking for a really nice holiday gift for loved ones or for yourself.  We have made the subscription even more user friendly by allowing subscribers to select a few varieties that they prefer not to receive.  We discovered this spring that some of the most highly valued flowers in the industry are actually not appreciated by everyone, so with that in mind, we’ve made the process even more seamless by adding more customization.

   For you farm store shoppers, the store is closed this weekend for a bit of an overhaul.  Mandy is reorienting it in preparation for the holiday season, but we will reopen on Tuesday the 5th with expanded hours leading up to the holidays.
Have a great weekend,