Saturday, September 06, 2008

Nature's Alarm Clock and other observances on country life

While visiting Scott's family in Oregon, we got to sleep in the back yard in a tent, which is really fun. Except his sister has this rooster who apparently has an extreme sensitivity to light. He starts crowing about 3:00 in the morning. It's insane. Scott nominated this particular rooster to be the guest of honor at the family barbecue. (Steve said no, because the rooster somehow makes the hens lay good. Or is it lay well? Anyway, I learned a lot about chickens this trip.)

One morning about 7:30, after the rooster had finally stopped crowing, yet another little one of God's precious creatures started chirping just outside the tent. After about five minutes of its joyful singing to welcome the new day, Katie rolled over and grumped, "Will somebody please turn that thing off??!"

And you know what else? It's dark out in the country. Scott noticed it first as we were driving from the airport to his sister's and kept saying, "Man, it's dark out in the country. This is darker than pitch black. What's darker than that? This is like two or three shades darker than pitch black." A little later, Will woke up in the back seat and said, "Dude! Did you see how bright their stars are?!"

One night I was too tired to sleep--is there anything more miserable? My tossing and turning was annoying others, so I got out of the tent and looked for something to do. I ended up stargazing and was truly amazed. The night sky out in the country is breathtaking! The stars are everywhere! (I realize that sounds ridiculous, but in the city they're not everywhere.) I knew I was sleepy enough to get back into the tent when I thought, "Wow, this is as pretty as the planetarium."

But the clincher was when we flew back to Virginia. We arrived very, very late, and as we were driving home, Will asked, "Is the sun coming up already?" Honest to God, it was that much brighter here--at midnight--than there.

More stories (and hopefully pictures!) to come very soon!


Joyful Days said...

My dad lives out in the country--the stars are much brighter and it is darker--at the same time!

Several years ago my parents had chickens too--and a rooster! Yup, they start crowing early.

Your post brought back some memories.



Mama Nirvana said...

We so loved having you around (Mike and I can't stop talking about it).

Looking forward to reading your thoughts.