Sunday, December 19, 2010

geese and cats and deer

A positive thing about having the kids ill with temperatures and sniffles etc. is, I get to sleep yet another night out under the stars with total justification. That makes four nights this week. That way wife and kids can all stay in the same bed without anyone rolling on anyone else and so she doesn’t have to get up twenty times during the night in the freezing cold to tend one then the other.
Last night with the full moon was amazing, not for the moonlight or the crystal clear night or the perfect cold but because of the ethereal passage of animals. Lying there cocooned in the sleeping bag in the bright moonlight our four cats, in procession walked across the top of the terrace above where I was laying. Cats when they walk are really odd at the best of times but a purposeful walk across a silver landscape it was really weird.
Half an hour later seven roe deer passed totally silently across the orchard above me they too were walking in single file but in the opposite direction. It was quite weird because despite only being 10 yards away  from where I was laying, not even a hoof strike broke the total silence. It was rather like watching a film without the audio, the picture framed in the sides of my sleeping bag hood.
Then three times I was woken by  my favourite sight and sound of all time, migrating geese. It’s a homely comforting feeling to lie there alone, warm as toast looking up at the stars and seeing skeins of geese flying high up in the sky. It sort of tells you that despite man’s best efforts some normality still remains on the planet. I was willing them to fly across the moon but they didn’t, close but they swerved just at the last moment.  Considering the height they were flying at I’m pretty sure very  few people, if any, noticed their passing. They circled a few times and then disappeared. When the moon set another skein passed though I couldn’t see it and yet another just after dawn, a straggly arrow of birds honking peacefully. It was minus 7 where  I was so up there it must have been absolutely  freezing. Different to the deer and cats they were noisy but the sounds were detached from the moments a bit like a recording of geese being played over the sound of geese flying. It didn’t quite fit. Now I’m going to have to find out why they are migrating now and not two months ago when the migrations started.
Two earthquakes today too. The second stronger than the first but both quite noticeable though.

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