Out here in the middle of nowhere I wake up around 2-3am. And then it starts. I hear noises.
The first night out camping was the worst. That’s when I was woken up by …. something. The first thing I noticed was the street light shining directly into my face. Wait a minute, I’m in the bush, aren’t I? Ah, it wasn’t a street light, the full moon had risen and the front of our tent was pointed straight at it. Relax, pull the sleeping bag up and go back to sleep.
But what was that? Footsteps. Who, or what, is wandering around outside our tent?
So I lay there, and lay there, and lay there some more, trying to work out what was making the hissing and screeching sound and hoping desperately that it wasn’t pigs. Then I saw it. A possum scamper up the tree silhouetted by the moon.
The night before we stayed in the pub at Gil, only to be kept awake most of the night by somebody having a party. Well, that’s got nothing on the noise of two possums hissing and screeching at each other, and fighting over our rubbish bag (Yes Doc, I did tie it up and put it up high, but they’re possums, they can climb).
And the wind – gum trees make a lot of noise even when it’s not windy on the ground. It’s almost like now that the heat of the day is over they’ve come alive and are talking to each other.
Then at dawn it’s the birds. The kookaburras are the first to wake up, followed by the crows, cockies and galahs. The screech of large flocks of cockatoos and galahs is unbelievable. And the crows calling to their mates from right next to the tent, while amazing, adds to the cacophony.
It is anything but quiet.
But eventually it dies down, and the sound of the song birds takes over.
Then sitting under the gum trees, by the river really is peaceful.