Tuesday, April 30, 2013


We live in Terre Haute, Ind., with a population estimate (as of 2011) of 60,961 (okay, I have to ask - where did they get the "1" from?) It's a fairly small town compared to my birthplace of Denver, Colo. (estimate of 619,968). It's amazing to me the number of sounds that we had to get used to, after moving here. Especially at night. When you're trying to sleep.

Photo thanks to en.gtwallpaper.com
First, there are a lot of trains going through Terre Haute. I can't emphasize "a lot" enough! There are trains coming and going. There are trains stopped, slowly moving forward or slowly moving backward. After awhile, the sounds of trains lull you to sleep. I was convinced that when we got our puppy, who is now 3 years old, his nighttime potty schedule was on the train schedule. He would wake me with a cold nose under the armpit at 11:52, then at 2:56, then 6:21 ... you get the picture. Every time I took him out back to do his business, I heard a train racing through town.

Second, we hear wildlife, such as the male fox's "vixen scream" which is usually used during mating season and answered by the fox's mate. We also hear the chirping sounds of raccoons and various noises from frogs, bugs and neighborhood dogs and cats. It's a variable orchestra of sounds. I remember hearing the fox for the first time and thinking that some poor animal was in terrible pain. Hard to get to sleep when it sounds lik it's right outside our bedroom window.

Third, thunder and lightening from spring and fall storms can either keep us from our "zzzzz's" or wake us up with a start. The "light shows" can be impressive also, even with our lined curtains and drawn blinds. You know it's bad when the dog climbs in between you and your spouse, in bed. It's also important to stay awake, during the heavy downpours, to see if our area or one that we'll be taking to work the next morning, will be flooded.

Fourth, we're right next to a firehouse so we hear (almost) every emergency vehicle leave the building at amazing speeds, sirens blaring. Having the firehouse so close-by was actually a blessing when some neighborhood children set the field on fire next to our house. Their quick response time was appreciated.

I've begun wearing at least one earplug when I go to sleep, to help balance out the nature sounds. I don't hear the trains unless I'm outside with the dog. And, we've come to appreciate the fox family that lives in our heavily tree-lined, backyard creek and dense bushes. We especially enjoy seeing the little foxes each spring and watching them chase each other in the backyard. Guess that vixen screaming is good for something, if it helps with the wildlife hookups.


Liz said...

Hi! It's interesting hearing of another life! My dog is also 3. We live in a small village of about 800, in a 400 yr old cottage, and what I hear at night are owls! Thanks for visiting my blog!

Liz ~ http://www.lizbrownleepoet.com

Elizabeth Eyles said...

You did some ingenious solving of the alphabet challenges :) now if I could just find an easy way of following a Google blogger from a Wordpress account!

mare ball said...

Wow, sounds like quite a racket there in Terre Haute. I'm from Indy myself. Born in Fort Wayne, lived in Indianapolis until I was 16. We have a train close to us too, here in FL, but I've gotten used to it now...don't even hear it. Nice to meet you, fellow Hoosier! (I think I stopped in before during April. I'm catching up now b/c my dad has been ill.)
from The Dugout