As you lay your head upon the crisp clean pillow , you look forward to the comforting sounds that will lull you to sleep. You look forward to the cool night breezes that welcome the colorful quilts upon the bed. Quilts made lovingly and always a part of The Mountain House. These quilts were made from a lady whose family has lived in the area almost longer than the branch runs down the mountain and past the house where they live. The very same road that leads up the mountain to the house.
The branch is always flowing but not always heard. The quiet of the night brings it through the open windows and it flows over your thoughts setting the peace for a good night’s sleep. The water flows over many a rock and makes it way around a few bends and elevations headed to the bottom of the mountain. It flows contentedly past the homes of the families who have always lived along the way. It is the same branch of babbling water that puts a person’s life on hold for each of the houses it passes on its journey.
The first critter sounds are the cicadas with their high pitched humming chorus. Some summers there are more than others and they are always welcome and always a part of sleeping at The Mountain House. The Bob White echoes in the hollers letting all know they should be settled and calmly letting go of the day.
Then the moment most anticipated arrives with the melody of the Whip-poor-whill. It is one of the most favorite memories of The Mountain House. You can expect a deep connection to the night when the Whip-poor- whill comes calling. The Whip-poor-whill most assuredly was created for the purpose of the night. No other sound drowns out the worries better than he.
Adult male Whip-poor-will
Photo curtesy of wikipedia.
http://www.enature.com/ has the bird call and additional information.
Whip-poor-whills are in the family Caprimulgidae. The Latin words capri and mulgus mean goat-milker. They were once thought to be associated with witchcraft because of their nocturnal habits. They would be seen darting in out among the farm animals. Those who kept goats believed the birds to suck the milk from the goats and leave none for the family. All the while the Whip-poor-wills were helping by eating the insects in the barn and around the animals.
Whip-poor-wills are rarely seen as they are sleeping on the forest floor nestled among the leaves. They nest in the meadows and on the forest floor. They lay 2 eggs in the tiny ground nest.
You don’t hear as many as of days gone by.
You’ll be a bit warm as the night first starts but very soon the dance of the curtains announces the cool night breezes. You’ll try to keep the covers off as long as possible. It best to get good and cold before you reach for the colorful quilts that snuggle you under the covers. It’s a life changing experience to sleep in a room where the colorful quilts and the familiar symphony come riding on the breezes of the billowy curtains.
Trying to stay awake in this state of tranquility is futile. Folks in the mountains go to bed early just to experience a few sleepy moments in honor of the Whip-o-whill.
This is part of a series on my childhood Mountain House. You can read the others from my sidebar under the catagory—Memories of the Mountain House.