I first became enamoured of rural living when I was a child.

We lived on suburban Long Island, and grandma and poppy had a “country house”.  I longed for the summer, and the opportunities to go spend a week upstate, in the country!

It might only be for a week-  if I was lucky, I got to go for longer or several times over the course of the summer.

The most noise I ever heard there, was the deafening din of the crickets, and the cicadas’ hot summer song. The whippoorwill at night, and the occasional caterwauling of a bobcat were the evening sounds that lulled us to sleep.

So, when the opportunity arose, as an adult, to move to “the country” – we jumped at it and delved right in to our version of country living!!!

We are at the foot of the National Forest and couldn’t be happier!

Surrounded by farms, there are different types of night noises, and day time odors- something I never experienced in my childhood days upstate!

The sound of the river, after a rain, is one of the most peaceful sounds I know.

At night, we fall asleep to the hooting of an owl, and are awakened at dawn by the rapping of a woodpecker searching for breakfast.

On the down side, summers here bring the less than pleasant aroma of cow and chicken manure, and the flies that accompany that odor!

Autumn arrives with the sounds of gunfire- hunting season – one plus AND minus of living near the National Forest – or any wooded area out here!!!

Last night, the lowing, moaning, bellowing and constant mooing of the cows across the road, indicated that the calves had been separated from their mothers. I can look forward to that sad sound for a couple of days.

Two nights ago, the eerie yapping of a fox woke me from a sound slumber. He, or she, was pacing the treeline outside my bedroom window, vocalizing at the top of his/her lungs. I call it screyapping- it’s an unforgettable combination of screaming and yapping.

Deer speak also – usually only when scared- and as a warning to their herd. It’s also an unforgettable sound- a combination huffing screeching noise. Certainly worked on me, the first time I heard it at close range!!!

What I am hearing now, is the tapping of a chickadee or tufted titmouse as he opens sunflower seeds. The birds have discovered a wire planter on the deck is a handy implement for opening seeds. So, they perch, pound, and eat- all morning long! This sound is accompanied by the whistle of wings. The mourning doves have a distinctive sound when they flap their wings. That, along with their cooing, is a soothing sound I never tire of !

Although not as quiet as the sounds of the country of my youth, the sounds of this “country” have become music to my ears. Far from the cacophony of urban  living, the sounds that emanate from this Gap area, have become dear to my heart. I hope we never leave…………………………..


Hoof & Feather Breakfast Bar!


All is well at Mountain Meadows this brisk and sunny November morning….