As I have shared before when we first bought and moved in the property was rough. The land had been totally neglected for about 12 to 15 years. The least overgrown was the two acres behind the house and it was very heavily covered with brush and wild roses as well as morning glory and many other plants I don’t even know the name of. To me at that time it was all just vegetation that needed to be gone so I could have and grow what I wanted. What I didn’t stop to consider was that it was also home to a lot of the wildlife I was seeing that I had not had around for years.
Quail or Bob White as they are called as well with their distinctive call that earned them that name were here.
The brush and vegetation I was so desperate to remove is also what provides them with the home food and protection they feel comfortable in and kept them around so we could enjoy their calls and chirps.
The whippoorwill although seldom seen, except when you walk up on them unexpectedly in the wooded areas and they fly from under your feel giving you a near heart attack are another.
The thicker woods with the high brush but open ground seems to be where I have stumbled up on what I think to have been them. They were usually gone before I even knew they were there. Evenings and early morning are when they are the most vocal. The call is usually solitary and because of this I guess what makes it seem lonely.
Or how about the screech owl or ground owls, I’m not even sure what their calls sound like and they certainly are not what I would call pretty but they were here when I arrived and until quiet recently as well. During my most recent clearing spree I took down an old snag just standing there dead doing no good at all that I could tell but when it hit the ground one of these little fellas flew out of a hole in this old dead log. Thankfully I found no young in it.
Then there was the Barn Owl; For whatever reason I have always been somewhat fascinated by, and when younger afraid of, them. The removal of the brush and cover that provided home and sustenance to the quail did the same for mice and rats. Gourmet food extrodenair for a Barn Owl. They don’t have a lot to say, or they say it when I am asleep but I enjoyed the occasional glimpse of them as they would swoop down from the rafters and out the barn door.
The loon. A water bird obviously and since we don’t have any water on our property they had to have been in one of our neighbor’ ponds
Then there is, or should I say was this,
I think they are still around though. Or maybe all of them are and I just don’t hear them anymore because I, sometimes foolishly, and other times of necessity, damaged my hearing. I didn’t think a thing in the world about running a chain saw with no ear protection. Or running a tractor all day long with the sound blasting back in my face. Or even for that matter firing a gun, of what ever caliber, with the firing chamber right next to my ear. Granted in Viet Nam when the stuff hit the fan even if hearing protection had been available it would not have been utmost on my mind. But occasions such as these are no doubt a big part of why I cannot hear the things I mentioned earlier that I would still love to still.
(Soap Box0 I am sure any type pf box or crate would have been used to see and bee seen more readily.
Fair warning people. Here comes my soapbox. There is a two fold reason why I don’t hear a lot of what goes on around the farm anymore. One as mentioned above; The removal of natural habitat and my ability to hear has lessened considerably. Many of you who have not yet had it happen to you are still just going along thinking it is just sign of aging and can’t be helped. I am here to tell you that comes under the heading of BULL!!!!!
Still jokingly I often say that you can tell you are getting older when you get up in the morning and the first thing you do is go around the house putting on body parts. You first put your eyes in. So you can see to find the rest of course! You then go to the bathroom where you put your teeth in. Now there is something to look forward to. Now once you have finished the necessities in the bathroom you get to stumble off into the living room, probably by your favorite chair, and grab you ears
No this is not what we use anymore but the purpose remains the same. To help us hear what we no longer can
Oh no it is not that anymore now we get .
Obviously not as noticeable but as a user of the newer variety I am not convinced they are much more effective. And that is not me. They have hair! That is another sign of aging. That one may be unavoidable at this time in history. Eyeglasses? They do seem to come naturally with aging in some cases. The teeth? There is a lot we can do about that as well. But the hearing loss?!
Think about it. As a much younger man I rode a roaring tractor all day long with never a thought to protecting my ears. If I went hunting or just shooting I never even considered ear plugs. I’m not even sure I knew they existed then but you do. Now I have to admit that while in Viet Nam when the stuff hit the fan I would not have gone looking for my ear plugs first even if they had been available. The same can be said for the teeth. I left here without a cavity in my head and returned with I believe it was twenty five a year later. It doesn’t take long. Again the choice was mine clean my rifle with that tooth brush or my teeth. Bet you I could have carried a second toothbrush if I had bothered to. But my purpose here is hearing loose.
Let me give you some examples. I have never been an avid TV watcher. I would much rather live my life than watch someone else live theirs. But there are times when the day is done or there is something on I just want to watch or maybe I am just plain tired and could use a little entertainment. Even with hearing aids there are parts of the dialogue you don’t quite pick up. Words missed or misunderstood. An action movie. Forget it! You can hear all the explosions and gun shot but forget hearing what is said. Or the reverse happens. The TV is own and Pauline says something to me. That is a guaranteed I’m sorry what did you say. Or you are out to dinner with either a group or just another individual and the restaurant is busy. You learn to do a lot of sitting around grinning and nodding hoping people will think you have some idea what is being said. In this situation, and a lot of others I find that I often apply that old Chinese proverb (It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open mouth and remove all doubt). Or you find yourself repeating phrases such as, I’m could you repeat that, or I missed that what did you say, or maybe you will prefer . didn’t hear what you said my hearing is not good.
Yes I am trying to make a point here! There are a lot of things that we cannot stop that are going to effect our lives as we age and very few if any will improve the quality of it any but we don’t have to add one more just we will not do what we can to avoid it.
HEARING LOSS IS NOT FUN OR FUNNY. ARE YOU HEARING WHAT I SAY? You may not in a few years if you don’t do what you can to protect yours. When I was young there was a phrase used to describe people who could not hear or speak. I am sure it is not longer considered politically correct but I will use it to may a point. If you do not do what you can easily do to protect your hearing you like myself may wind up deaf and dumb for not having done so.