Wednesday, 26 November 2008

The Countryside Is Noisy

The weather has been very hot so a few nights ago I decided to sleep with my bedroom door with it's newly fitted flyscreen in place open onto the deck. The Cottage is built to modern standards of insulation and, very unusually for New Zealand, it has double glazing throughout as well. So as a general rule I can hear very little at night. I don't sleep with windows open either as a rule because of the many and varied flying creatures which, though harmless, are nevertheless unpleasant as bedfellows.

For the first time the sounds of the night, from which my insulated environment shield me, became loud and real. The call of the Morepork (so called because of its call of the same sound) which roosts in a nearby tree and, like many owls, is not faint-hearted in its announcements to the world; the crickets which surround (and occupy) The Cottage; the wind which rustles the huge trees nearby; the Pukeko screeching in the orchard below (and that really can make your blood curdle); the birds singing their hearts out at 0400; the rustling and snorting of the hedgehogs and possums and countless other creatures of the night all conspired to make constant sleep hard. And once I was awake I could hear the oddly verbose fridge and the excessively loud tick of the kitchen clock. So the perfect sleep to which I am accustomed eluded me.

Last night the door remained closed as it will again tonight. I think it will have to be exceptionally hot before I next bask in the closeness to nature which robs me of my slumbers.

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