I hope the feeling of anticipation I have as I climb the stairs to our cottage loft room at night is one I will never loose. It’s not as you may have thought the ‘anticipation of passion’, although the Lord of the Manor has just had a restyle with a hint of ‘George Clooney’ about him. No, it is the anticipation of laying in bed and listening to the sounds of the Peak District nighttime choir that has me running eagerly up those stairs (sorry Mark), and oh what a glorious ensemble it is.
With no traffic noise to contend with, apart from the odd late night tractor trundling its way home, the vast skies become a stage for one of Mother Natures unbeatable performances, as the sound of birdsong fills the air. I have never heard anything so uplifting, yet relaxing, so cacophonous yet utterly melodious. Birdsong is known to be physically relaxing but also cognitively stimulating, relaxing us at night and a great natural alarm clock in the morning.
I’ve yet to learn how to distinguish between the different sounds and be able to put a bird to its song, but the one I absolutely love and wait for which tends to be heard as the others are settling down for the night is the Owl. I don’t know if I have ever heard one at such close quarters but I am totally transfixed by the sound as it carries across the night sky. “Twit twoo” was the only description of an owls voice in my mind, gleaned from childhood stories, however listening to the real thing “Twit twoo” seems a little lacking in its description of such a dominant, haunting sound which commands the landscape as it travels for miles around. It’s more like “Hellooooooo ….. is anyone out there?” “Hellooooooo ….. can anyone hear me? I lay and listen to the pattern and count the beats between the two hoots, Mr owls perfect musical timing fascinates me.
A few weeks ago someone asked me why we would want to move here. My answer to that would be that it is worth being here just for the joy of listening to those birds, and I hope I never lose the feeling I have as I climb those stairs and listen in wonder to the Peak District Nighttime Choir.
Love Alison x