Thursday, 9 February 2012

In The Dark

I have decided that when it is dark, animals of all species enjoy order and routine more than at any other time. Well before dawn, as Chris is just thinking of getting out of bed, the house animals slumber and rest. On the kitchen sofa, Mabel will have her head jammed tightly behind her own green pillow as she snores like a train and in the living room William is stretched out on his own sofa, gently woofing in his sleep. Between us in bed, lies Meg who couldn't quite cope with not being in the direct epicentre of the house pack and at the foot of the bed is George, who is content with being just close enough to Chris--- but happy, in that inimitable Scottish Terrier, "I am ever so slightly aloof" kind of way
Only Albert and I are awake. 
He remains on sentry duty at the bedroom window, and is scanning the field and lane for interesting nocturnal activity. I know that something is around because he is still and alert and is obviously watching something moving around in the frost. I suspect it is a fox or perhaps a badger because the Guinea fowl are muttering to themselves like worried pensioners. The threat however remains at the field borders at present, I can always tell that if their grumbling is subdued.
I get up and get the sleepy dogs walked, we will all go back to bed for a short while when we return. But before we do, I take my trusty wind up torch and went to check on the coops, just in case a predator was about.
Hearing me crunch in the severe frost the geese "chunner" their own kind of warning. There is a small window in the goose house and I can just make out a couple of heads popping up to see what is going on........ the "chunners" subside as they recognise me. A similar low chatter comes from the duck house, but it is more a squabble about  best positions rather than one of anxiety and from the nearest hen house, one of the usually silent hens allows herself a brief and rather musical little "cluck" of concern  before going back to sleep.
When it is dark, hens for the most part are truly useless creatures.
It was badgers that Albert had seen from the bedroom window, In the moon light I can  just make out a large dark grey arse by the pond, shuffling homewards before first light, They won't be a threat again tonight

Even in the dark, everything has an order and a pace  of it's own.

37 comments:

  1. Sheba often sits on our bedroom windowsill, looking out on the street. She does a very good "stern look of disapproval" to almost anyone or anything she sees.

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  2. I like the fact that Dawn and Dusk are "Cat Time", time for politics and play.

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  3. One of the most useful things about a snowfall when you've got poultry is being able to see predator's tracks in the snow.

    In the morning I can see where the large fox has been prowling around at night, how he/she is getting over the fencing, pausing on three legs to sniff the air, meandering circles following faint scents.

    No badger tracks though thank God. I'm not sure what they would look like anyway...

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  4. wide and bearlike chris.... often you see sled like marks too where their bums rub on the snow!

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  5. we are both up when it's pitch black dark today, in my case it's 3:30am. Molly is out for a count on the sofa where dh normally sits and me, well I have a cup of tea in my hand and I'm enjoying the peace and quiet........

    Like you all is right with the world, at least for the moment.

    Gill in Canada

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  6. That's quite a nocturnal adventure you've taken us on, John and I was only a little bit scared. Thanks.

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  7. I did enjoy that early morning sortie with you, but I'm off to bed now.

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  8. Yours was the first blog I read this morning and it has set me up for the day, lovely relaxing read.
    Briony
    x

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  9. Isn't it great how we all look out for each other; a wonderful symbiosis. Our two started barking last night; probably Badgers too. Freddie the cat (who sleeps under my bearded chin), just ignored them.

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  10. John. This piece is sheer poetry.

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  11. "..muttering to themselves like worried pensioners."

    Great phrase which I will steal!

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  12. "..muttering to themselves like worried pensioners."

    Great phrase which I will steal!

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  13. What a wonderful description of your night-time meanderings. I've never seen a badger in the wild (only at 'wildlife centres'. I'm jealous.

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  14. You have interesting mornings to share, John. Thank you.

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  15. I love your writing John. I felt enclosed in your small dark world out there, hearing the sounds, feeling the chill. Wonderful.

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  16. If I'm sleeping on my left side Annie likes to crawl under the covers and 'makes biscuits' on my tummy. If I'm sleeping on my right side . . dunno, I'm asleep. :-)

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  17. That was just a beautiful thing to read. Poetic almost. Gorgeous.

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  18. I was able to picture that all perfectly...thank you; very enchanting

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  19. A lovely piece. So glad you get to go back to bed for a bit.

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  20. Nicely written John. I hereby award you an honorary O level in English Language. All that was missing was the mad axeman waiting for you round the other side of the henhouse. AAAAARRRRGGGHHH! Biff! Bash! Chop! R.I.P.

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  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  22. Beautiful pastoral post, John. As you did for Briony, you set me up for a good day.

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  23. Beautifully written - Warm and cozy like the night should be. Tis all quiet on the western front.

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  24. I slept in a little late this morning. Now, I'm sorry I missed the early dawn. It did sound a little chilly out and I know I am way too lazy to take dogs on a walk at that time of the morning, but I did enjoy reading about it. I know you will have a lovely rest of the day.

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  25. You're not just a pretty face!

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  26. What a lovely visual John...peace and order in the house and in the field and in the animal shelters and a fat badger skulking away. I hope your day has been a good one so far. :)

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  27. Poetry. You do have a way with words. lane

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  28. Loved this post.

    The moon's been so bright that all of us have had trouble sleeping soundly throughout the night, although last night, once i dropped off, i was completely unaware of anything until the alarm went off this morning.

    megan

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  29. A great 'short story'!

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  30. The Guineas are murmuring like worried pensioners.

    John, your talents are wasted on this blog. Or at least not yet fulfilled. Write the damn novel will you?!

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  31. Sheer poetry. A lovely post.

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  32. I see Grass Weaver beat me to it. :-)

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  33. john... it's sylvia from homestead hope blog. couldn't find direct contact info on your profile. would you please email me at lootielou@hotmail.com? i have something i need to ask. thank you!

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  34. Hey John, there's an award for you at my site. http://bit.ly/yixGGO I know. You're thrilled. I can see you shaking your head from here.

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  35. What a beautiful little video you just shared!

    Happy Dreams

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  36. You painted a perfect picture of the restless activity and sounds of critters in the dark. (Say, if that nursing stuff doesn't work out, you could always take up writing ...)

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  37. If it snowed you ought to be able to see tracks in the morning

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