Far from urban civilization, I walk the main gravel lane on the farm, by the light of endless stars in the sky. The rumbling tractors, the crying peacocks, the giggling children, all have finally stopped for the night. With the faint porch light of the nearest neighbor miles away, I expect nothing but silence to accompany my shoes crunching on the path at this late hour. Yet, even in darkness, there is an underlying cadence to the farm in the summertime. Out on the pond, croaking frogs call to each other. In the field, a rhythmic pst—pst—pst comes from the wheel-line sprinklers watering the growing crop. Rather than annoy, these sounds enhance the peaceful ambiance of the evening.
At the end of the lane, I turn to make the trek back to the house when I hear a swishing coming through the tall grass in the pasture near me. A rabbit? Gopher? No, the sound is much too loud for something so small. A deer? Coyote? Or maybe a large snake? Suddenly, I’m wishing for something to defend myself with, like a big stick, but I can’t see anything in the immediate area that will do. Before I give into my terror and scream, out pops one of the farm dogs. I clutch my chest, still wishing for that stick to beat the darn dog with but he has already left, sniffing out some other midnight adventure.
Except for that adrenaline blip, there’s something fantastic about walking the farm in the dark. The open space and lack of chaotic urban sounds, creates a very serene and relaxing atmosphere. The only problem…morning, and all the work it brings, comes too soon.