Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Quiet of the Country

Agh. Its good to be home again! How I love my little wooden cottage (I mean 'chateau') with its views over mountains and sea. The farm dam (Oops! 'Ornamental Lake' what will you think of me?) in front of the house is visited by cormorants who dry their wings in the sun, and resemble nothing so much as rather tatty umbrellas after a storm, while tall, elegant grey herons pace back and forth on their slender legs.

Owls often call in the night, and last night one landed on the rooftop and hooted so loudly one'd swear he actually wanted to be noticed. I got a good look at him, (of course, the camera wasn't handy - it seldom is at such moments) before he swooped off on silent wings.

I could probably do without the guinea fowls who flock like so many chickens across the paddock by day and roost in the trees at night where they let out 'Tach! Tach Tach!' cries as they jostle for position. High rise living with attendant stresses, I suppose, but they are quite noisy as neighbors go. At least I can't understand their curse words and they don't break windows or stab each other or anything like that. Still, though I'm not much of a snob, I can tell a commoner when I see one!

The Egyptian geese have, at times, been under consideration for the roasting pot for similar reasons, but they are rather magnificent as they swoop around the house to land in the tall pine tree in my garden.

The frogs are good neighbors. I really like them. Most of them chirrup and whistle rather than croak. People often hear the background noise when I talk to them on the phone. Ever phone someone who was in an nightclub when they answered? You can hear the festivities in the background. Well, I'm in the middle of a choral recital every night, and I don't sleep well without it any more.

I am, on occasion, alarmed by a donkey. I love donkeys, but their braying is on the less than musical side of extreme, and at two in the morning, it makes one's hair stand on end!

On the whole, I'd say that this place isn't much noisier than some I've lived in (at least there aren't jackals), but the 'quiet of the country' is definitely a myth!

Ah! But I am wealthy beyond words...

*** Yus, there are no pictures of birds. Will work on it, but they never want to sit still.


  1. Great photos. The photo of the frog reminds me of a couple nights ago. It was raining here. Yes, I know rain in California! So I had my front door open to listen to the rain and let the cool breeze in. I have a security door. So it's not as if someone can just walk in. Unless that someone is frogs trying to get out of the rain. Yes, I shooed like 7 frogs out of my house. It was funny. They'd see me walk towards them and they'd hop back outside to only return a few minutes later when I wasn't looking. Just thought I'd share.

  2. Wow! Love where you live. I love country and your's is beautiful. While I live in the suburbs, my entire yard is landscaped for wildlife, and I am starting to get a few tree frogs. I think your place is great, chateau or cottage, ha ha.

  3. Despite a childhood of getting kicked out of schools and a career of many and varied jobs, you have ended up in what looks like Paradise. Your wooden cottage in the midst of this beauty and wild wildlife (& now pets) is wealth beyond words.

  4. A gorgeous post of words my friend. I just love how you use description and metaphor so easily. You are truly a gifted writer and I envy that. But mostly, I admire it, you and your gift.
    Beautiful photos too! Welcome home.

  5. Pam is so right. Your words make me see flapping wings and tatty umbrellas. I forget about the art of putting these words together to make the pictures.

  6. The scenery is so beautiful there!

  7. Well written. I can't help but notice how lovely that first photo is! Nice shot!

  8. Oh my lord girl.......... where you live is awesome!!!!! completely and utterly awesome!

  9. I really love those pics & the accompanying story really helps me imagine being there

  10. Who doesn't find donkeys alarming?

  11. Futomara: cute story! I can tell you're a frog lover. Good on you! I once had a frog hop into the house followed by a snake who swallowed it whole before you could say 'Oh a frog!'

    CW: its amazing how much wildlife one can get in a suburban garden. Good for you for trying to attract the critters! Some people prefer things sterile - so boring!

    HWfarber: Word pictures! But how many words would I need to make a picture as evocative your paintings are? Surely more than a thousand!

    PAMO: You're a love! Thanks for the kindly encouragement. Though you're not posting so much any more (which I miss), I appreciate the effort you make to keep up with the rest of us. Hope things settle down soon so that we can hear more from you.

    Jay: Its scrumptious :)

    Lancelonie: Praise from you means its a GREAT shot. Thanks for that! I'm going to be all over your Flickr as soon as I get the time. The few examples I've seen are super.

    Amazing.. I mean 'Average' Girl: Come for tea next time you're passing by!

    Karl: If we could get together on that veranda with some guitars. Ai! Dream on! It'd be grand. Missing your posts. Are you over-busy these days? Hope its good stuff.

    Grant: Dunno. There's a poem about donkeys that seems to agree with the sentiment. Wish I could remember the opening lines.

  12. Beautiful pics, love the rainbow. Your absolutely right, the country is anything but quiet.