anonyrrie: Tree Frogs and Chickens and Bears...Oh My!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Tree Frogs and Chickens and Bears...Oh My!

Moving to a new place presents all kinds of challenges along with offerring innumerable opportunities. When I moved to northwestern Connecticut from a suburb outside of Manhattan, not only did I have to adjust to a new job and a new lifestyle; I also had to adjust to "country living" in much of its glory. I stop short of saying "in all of its glory," because this semi- rural town I call home is breathlessly chasing after the dream of expansion, digging craters into acres of rolling hills just to refill them with shopping malls and selling off parcels of farmland to be developed into rows of McMansions. Yet even with all the development, this area is still the country. We're fortunate enough to live on six acres of mostly wooded property where nature does its thing every day.

In The Secret Life of Bees, the narrator Lily says, "If you think the country is quiet, you've never lived in it. Tree frogs alone make you wish for earplugs." Well, it's true...nightime in August here is like trying to sleep in the orchestra pit while the musicians tune up for eight hours. Tree frogs, crickets, and cicadas fill the air with so much full, layered sound that it feels like you're enclosed within three-dimensional walls. And then shortly before dawn, the birds take's really quite amazing. In my sleeplessness, I amuse myself by trying to figure what instruments these creatures are playing. So far I've identified a variety of percussion instruments: tambourines, triangles, maracas, castanets, and guiros. I've also heard violins and piccolos, and I'm sure there are probably several other instruments that I just can't recognize.

Before I moved here, I lived in an apartment where the night sounds were of neighbors watching televsion, stomping across the floor, talking on the phone, yelling at their children, and all other kinds of things I would have preferred not to hear. I've also lived on a boat in the Caribbean where the night sounds were so lovely and magical that they seemed lightly scented with perfume...water lapping against the hull, clinking halyards, steel drum music floating across the water from a hotel. And I've lived in New York City with its grab bag of expected and unexpected noises. It takes time for the noises of a place to become so much part of the everyday experience that they meld into the background, becoming just another fiber in the warp of life's tapestry.

Nighttime aside, there are so many things here that delight me to no end. Wild turkeys, red foxes, and deer wander through our property to get from one part of the woods to another. Our neighbors to the right run an alpaca farm, and our other neighbors to the left raise chickens that they let forage for seeds all over their yard. There are also bears, coyotes, and bobcats here, although I have not yet had the pleasure of making their acquiantance. Nature, like just about anything else that's complex and magnificent, reveals itself in pieces in its own good time.


Blogger onclejohann said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:01 PM  
Blogger onclejohann said...

I would have to say that in spite of the noises, you can't beat country living. The only thing you have to be aware of (as observed in your lovely illustration) are those dreaded wild chickens that roam the countryside in search of unsuspecting prey. We need the eggs so they can stay.

3:01 PM  
Blogger carla said...

You're right...didn't Hitchcock make a movie about that...The Chickens?

4:34 PM  
Blogger onclejohann said...

Hee hee - I think it was named "The Clams". I still have nightmares about those things.

10:04 PM  
Blogger Garrett Shikuma said...

Hi Carla,

Thanks for checking out my site. You've got some great artwork here. Ill have to bookmark your blog as well. I'll definitely be coming back to check out more of your work...

Take care,

6:11 PM  
Blogger pinknpretty said...

You're an excellent writer, Carla... very descriptive :-) I live in the country too, but it is forever "developing." I love living in a small community, and I couldn't even begin to imagine what it is like to live in a big city. Although I live on its outskirts, I hate even driving through Knoxville! When my boyfriend and I moved off to college, we chose ETSU because it is in Johnson City, TN, which is a small town, just like we're used to! I'm glad you appreciate nature, too. Not everyone out there does :-)

12:04 AM  

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