Loud, Stinky Summer Neighbors . . .
My extremely noisy and stinky summer neighbors left yesterday. They dismantled their construction and hauled everything away in big semi trucks. The move was very quick. One day there was a small, noisy city a few hundred feet away from me and the next .. nothing but dirt.
Coincidentally (?), today was the first time I have seen a deer in my yard during the day all summer long .. and I saw her at two different times. Instead of one lone goldfinch hanging around my feeders (I was kind of worried about him) and a few hummingbirds .. today several birds returned (from where ever it is they went). The chickadees were singing, there was a bluejay calling from the top of a pine, the nuthatches were scaling the sides of the pines, and the feeder had several goldfinches and purple finches.
Were my disruptive neighbors to blame for my lack of wildlife? It is hard to say. My neighbors were up making loud noises before daylight 4:30 am, had a steady flow of traffic coming and going all day long, and they did not settle in until at least 8pm every night during the week. However, my neighbors were gone on weekends, it was quiet yet my wildlife was still not around. So, maybe the return of wildlife today was really just a coincidence?
Who were my summer neighbors you may ask?
I live next to a small rustic, middle of nowhere gravel pit. My neighbors for the summer were a road construction company. Because of the distance to anywhere, many workers were living in campers up along the top edge of the pit which also allowed them to work very long days. The crew was crushing materials to make different grades of gravel, crushing old blacktop and mixing it all together with hot tar and who knows what else to make new blacktop. The smell of tar and diesel fumes made me keep my windows shut … which also blocked out some of the noise. The semis and dump trucks were hauling things back and forth at a constant pace down my gravel country road .. which made taking a walk during the week rather dangerous.
If you saw where I live, the thought of a small construction town popping up would seem really strange. However, construction does happen in the middle of no where. We need roads to get to somewhere .. some of them are in bad disrepair.
I was rather shocked today to listen to the silence … it was so quiet. Over the weeks, I had gotten use to the crushing and mixing noise and was able to tune it out. The dull drone in my ears was gone today .. it made the normal silence seem extreme.
The crew left the pit a lot bigger then when they started in June with several huge mountains of gravel and sand ready for the next job they might have sometime in the future. They have promised me big, scary looking “Keep Out” signs to prevent it from becoming the neighborhood amusement park for teenagers with ATVs and motorbikes and hunters sighting in their rifles … I guess we will see.
After surveying the pit from the top edge, I went down into it to look up at the mountains (they are a lot higher than they look in my pictures). Surprisingly, I was able to find something artistic about it. Check out my SAND ART post at my photo blog Bear In Sight.