One of Many Reasons Why................

A friend asked me recently what I enjoy about living where I do, in the middle of the woods in a sparsely populated community in middle Georgia. Here's one answer to that question.   ...

            I watched the movie "Driving Miss Daisy" recently. Do you remember the scene when Hoke is taking her from Atlanta to Mobile? En route, they stop several times on roadsides in rural Alabama. Their dialog usually took place against a backdrop of southern nature sounds. One such was the silvery call of the bobwhite quail.

            When I was a boy, the call of quail was as much a part of the landscape as pine trees and kudzu. I remember well sitting on porches with my dad, a forester, as he would "whistle in" distant quail, their sound getting closer and closer till, somewhere in the nearby grass or scrub bushes, you would see the white head (held high and alert), the russet feathers (a work of art) and frenetic footsteps (almost cartoonish) of Mr. Bob White.

            For years, maybe even decades, that sound has been absent from the chorus of our countryside, a silence, i am told, that is the result of overused chemicals, changing farming methods, and increased ground predators. But last summer, to my surprise and delight, I saw a pair of quail near the house and then, later in the summer, the same duo, or perhaps another, followed by a dozen or so biddies. Might they be returning somehow after all these years?

            Imagine the nostalgia, the gift its been, to sit on recent mornings and evenings with the sound of quail coming from three different directtions.

            Last night, May 25, I heard one in the distance, possibly a quarter mile away, across an open field where sound carries well. I began to whistle, very poorly I confess, after the fashion of my dad all those years ago. The bird responded and began to move closer and closer. After a half hour or so, I saw the head looking nervously out of a clover patch 20 yards from where I sat. 

            Here's part of the 'conversation' he and I had. 

            Gloriously good company to keep.

Allen Levi