Dusty Days, Noisy Nights

Ah, the peacefulness of country living. The perception is one of gentle sunshine, quiescent days, velvety nights, communing with nature, and all that other Disney hogwash. I have lived in the country most of my adult life, and more often than not, Bambi has been in the freezer and you have to shut the windows to get some quiet.

We live not quite in Nowhere Kansas, but if you climb the ridge, you can see it from here. Naturally, there are no paved roads out here, and when the cattle truck comes rumbling by, the dust covers everything for 100 yards. Our house is 102 yards from the road and sometimes we get a little of that on us. In the summer, the cattle trucks make the trip to the feedlot, which is about 5 miles north of us, about a half dozen times a day. A lot of the time the wind is howling out of the south, we don’t so much hear the trucks, as feel them.

The winds usually quiets down at night, and that’s when you’ll think you’re going to get some peace and quiet.

(Sounds of Great Horned Owls hooting)

Not quite. That was a Great Horned Owl. This time of year, they travel in breeding pairs. And talk to each other constantly, from the same tree. One night, I was tired and it was a school night. Just about in the land of nod and these two start jabbering to each other, right outside my window. I throw the window open and yell at them to “GET A ROOM!” and…

(Sound of Barred Owl hooting)

Mr Barred Owl starts laughing at me. I can’t be mad. He is my favorite of all the owls. If you listen carefully, in the background you will hear a Screech Owl trilling to himself.

(Sound of Screech Owl trilling, this goes on all night)

I think it is to drown out the other 2 blabber mouths.

This winter we’ve had an over abundance of geese. And they have decided to park themselves just about at end of our driveway. Ole Clyde, the farmer that has the land across from us, didn’t get to harvest his milo this year, and just about every living thing in the county has taken up residence there. Geese are a noisy bunch. I don’t think they ever shut up, even when sleeping.

(Sounds of Geese roosting, noisily)

Or, enough of them stay awake because of all the coyotes in the area. I have counted 4 packs howling from all directions on any given night and I am surprised to find there is not a massacre of geese every morning.

(Sounds of Coyotes howling)

This will drive Ole Sweet Pea, our dog, to breaking out into song. And from the sound of it, I got to get that boy singing lessons.

Here is what I hear on a typical night when all the owls are hanging out, the geese are parked at the end of the driveway, and the coyotes are telling the whole county, “Soups on!”

(Sounds of a recreation of all noise makers together)

We have decided that when we sell the farm in Kansas, and relocate back home to Minnesota, it will be town living for us. It’s time for some peace and quiet.

Authors note: Please be patient with the sound files. Some of them get stage fright and take a moment to regain their composure and perform. It is not a deliberate attempt to embarrass me. I think.