I have been in Raleigh for a week now. The most striking difference between Raleigh and Beirut is the noise. More specifically, the lack of noise. No car horns blaring or beeping or calling out. (Thus far, I’ve only heard one car horn – and it was from my brother.) No bullets shot into the air to celebrate or curse a particular politician. Even the 4th of July fireworks were quiet compared to Beirut. The sky did not change color. The house did not shake. And we could, in all ease, simply ignore the noise of the distant firework or two.
The lack of noise has allowed me to appreciate the other sounds. The singing (or gossip) of the birds in the neighborhoods. From their singing, there are at least 4 different kinds of birds around our house (in the suburbs).
And there are some other charms, as well.
The squirrels throughout the neighborhood. Quite conniving ones. My father has been trying to get the squirrels to leave the fig trees, tomato plants, cucumber plants, and grapes he lovingly planted. Thus far, squirrels 1, Dad 0. Example: he put a powder all around the garden – a powder that should retard the squirrels with its smell. Immediately afterward, the squirrels seemingly danced to the powder and then jumped over the powder and into the garden. Seems the only way to keep the vegetables from being played with or eaten by the squirrels is to feed the furry creatures directly.
Squirrels and bluebirds have adapted to suburban life. I’m not so sure the deer have.
Yesterday I saw a fawn crossing the road in our neighborhood. Crossing from one small patch of pine trees to another patch of pine trees. A small reminder that the we the people have continued to expand into others’ territories – namely the wildlife that has lived in this area for centuries. In searching for newbits about deer in NC, I found this bit of information: A 75-year-old woman is accused of beating a fawn to death after finding it in the garden of her home near a wooded park [in Ohio]. No comment needed.
On another note (i.e. suburbs aside), there is a disease (other than the Swine Flu) that is threatening North Carolina – and threatening Georgia and the Northeast of the US (for starters). “Blight, a fungus-like pathogen, harms tomato and potato plants. It creates a white fuzzy growth on the bottoms of the plant’s leaves and deforms the fruit, ruining any commercial value. .. The disease thrives in wet conditions, when plants are stressed. It can decimate an entire crop and caused the great Irish potato famine.”