When I… moved to the country, I felt as if I could finally exhale that little bit of breath I’d been unconsciously holding in my lungs. Time is not so relentless when it is possible to watch the sun make an uninhibited arc across the day, when the stars take up more of the night’s space than the darkness, when a footprint lives for days in its moist soil bed, when the only motor to be heard is the occasional tractor several miles away. ~Cecily Schmidt, “Common Threads,” in Wild Child: Girlhoods in the Counterculture edited by Chelsea Cain, 1999
Since we moved to Texas I’ve been saying we live in the country.
I’m not sure that’s entirely true–if you use a broad definition of living in the country–we qualify.
Our days are quiet–not as quiet as they used to be because our little community has been discovered. Now we hear the sounds of development.
It was bound to happen. After all, we found our way here.
We enjoy our early morning sunrises, the visits from our deer friends who now feel safe enough to bring along their new fawns. We’ve named some–limping deer who raised twins last year but only has a singleton this year. There’s Jorge who visited us all last summer. He was a loner, wandering through daily on his way to Bill’s watering station and searching for any vegetable scraps Lucy or I toss out for him. This year he’s returned but is not always alone. Yesterday he showed up with two young does–maybe he is building his own little herd? That would be heartwarming for me.
Now, it’s not always calm around our little house on the hill. A couple of nights ago we were sitting outside, star-gazing, and looking for satellites. Yes, we are a wild and crazy bunch! The moon was waning so it was very dark and stars impressive. As we talked, marveling at the amazing Universe around us, a blood curtailing scream came out of the field behind us.
What in the world was that sound?
It happened again and it was closer.
That unexplained sound was enough to send me in for the night.
As luck would have it, our dogs had me out a few hours later. Whatever was making that sound had not left and the screaming continued with other chattering sounds in between screams. Once again, I rushed our dogs inside.
I was on a mission to find out what was terrorizing my peaceful evenings. I listened to the sounds of every creature I could think could be living around our house. After some wrong guesses, I found our vocalizer.
It was a fox–most likely a pair of foxes who were out for the evening with their kits or pups. The screams I’d been hearing actually have a name–a vixen scream because it was originally thought it was a sound made only by the female–the vixen. This has been proven false and it can be a sound used to by the pair as a way to alert each other of possible dangers to themselves or to their young.
Now that I know what was making that sound I was more at ease–not comfortable by any means. The unknown now had a name–taking my imagination out of the equation. Believe me, the images I’d conjured up were much scarier than any fox.
Please stay safe, my friends, and enjoy your Forth of July holiday.
God bless us all and God Bless America.
~Peace be with you~