The nights in Gradenc, the small village where we live, are wonderfully quiet. Like many places in Slovenia, I guess. When you come from the Netherlands, and certainly from the city, you probably don’t even notice anymore that it is never quiet at night because you are completely used to hearing (city) noises. Only when you experience what a real »silent night« is like, do you realize how different that is.
Last year there were Dutch tourists on holiday in one of the holiday homes that I manage. They came from the city and told me at the end of their holiday that they had not slept this well in years because the city was always noisy. I also love that silence. A few years ago we went to Belgrade for a few days to visit a friend of Bine’s. We found a cheap room to stay overnight but hadn’t thought about it being on a busy two-lane road. I was horrified once I laid down to go to sleep! The sound of the cars driving by was very disturbing and with a pillow pressed to my head I finally managed to fall asleep.
Now the nights here are not always all silent either. But the sounds you do hear are sounds of nature, especially wild animals, but also the wind that blows through the trees, for example. In summer there are usually more noises than in winter, which is logical because then the animals are also more active. For example the sound of crickets. I find it wonderfully relaxing to fall asleep to the chirping of crickets in the background. On the coast, especially in Croatia, the crickets make a huge noise and it can get really annoying. There they have a different, larger type of cricket. The strange thing is that those crickets make noise from the moment it gets light in the morning until it gets dark in the evening. At night they are quiet. By the way, did you know that the sound of crickets comes from them rubbing their wings together? I also only learned that here :). Our »normal« crickets luckily make a softer sound that I can fall asleep on.
Another sound we hear here at night (in the evening) is the “barking” of deer. That was also new to me, the fact that deer bark. However, in the rut, around September, the roebuck makes a completely different sound. When we just moved here and we went to bed one evening, we heard a sound unknown to us through the open window in the bedroom. Of course, having heard that there were bears here, we both thought a bear was walking through the yard. The sound was like a deep growl and lasted for a while. We were shocked! The next day we told a neighbor what we had heard and he immediately knew what it was, namely, a rutting deer. Listen for yourself:
Also somewhere in the beginning (because then everything was still new to us;)), we thought one evening, when we were sitting outside enjoying the beautiful starry sky, that an alarm went off somewhere. Every few seconds we heard a kind of “beep”, always in exactly the same rhythm. We had no idea where it came from. After inquiries in the village this turned out to be the call of an owl! We then immediately renamed it the “beep-beep birdie” :). We still say to each other, when we hear it again: »there is the beep-beep bird again« ……. It sounds roughly like in the video below:
Foxes also make noise. They even make a lot of different sounds. But one particular sound is very special and striking and another sound that we had no idea of what it was in the beginning. It sounded like an animal in need and therefore I thought it was very unsettling to hear. I really thought an animal was being killed somewhere! When we heard that this sound was made by foxes, I could hardly believe it. But it really is, just listen:
So all in all, enough »action« here at night, but the silence still dominates and that’s how we like it!