Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sounds of the Island, Salt Cay

Stretching slowly as I wake in the morning, I am greeted by the unique sounds of Salt Cay. Every day the sounds are different and every house on Salt Cay greets the morning with different sounds.

Often, the first thing I hear is the wind howling through the windows (screens & shutters, no glass windows) and the sounds of the Sea crashing off the walls and ceiling - that’s when the sea has kicking up and the waves are pounding the reef and beach. On other mornings I can barely hear the waves and my eyes fly open so that I get up quickly to take a look!

Those days when the Sea is almost quiet and just sending a small whisper through the house, it will be a perfect morning to put in my kayak for an early morning paddle to the cliff by the Lighthouse. When the Sea is quiet, I can also hear the sound of roosters crowing in the distance. Depending upon which way the wind is blowing, I can hear either the South District roosters or – even more faintly – the North District roosters.

South District roosters were elusive as I tried to catch a photo of them this morning. They were taking their broods into the bushes for a late morning bug or two when I happened to catch this one heading into Periwinkle Park. At 9:30AM, he was quite finished for the day – having started at about 4:30AM (possibly a little earlier) with the South District Salt Cay wake-up call that is kind of… “Caa Coooooooooo Coo.”

Not to be confused with the North District Salt Cay wake-up call that goes something like… “Caa Caa Cooooooo Ca”. Of course there are a few variations to the crowing depending upon – well, I’m not sure what it depends upon.

While I was trying to take a picture of Miss Netty’s rooster (North District) she was telling me the old timers on Salt Cay could tell the exact time by the way the rooster was crowing and which rooster crowed.

It does take a little while to get used to the call of the Salt Cay Rooster in the morning and throughout the day. Many homes both North and South (this is a picture of Miss Netty’s and her rooster) have resident Roosters. Mike and I had a Rooster that used to sit on the wall outside of our bedroom window one year. Thankfully he has moved back South – I don’t miss him at all.

Occasionally a donkey will stroll down Victoria Street and stop in front of our house to bray (at 4AM) because he can’t break our gate open to get in and chomp my flowers and plants. And there have been a few times that we’ve had to get up after hearing the donkeys hooves on our walkway because they’ve managed to get into the yard for a very, very early morning snack.

Sleeping in late (7AM) I hear workers on their way to work signing hymns or bantering back and forth among themselves. A bicycle squeaking past my house is not enough to wake me - but if I’m already awake, it’s enough to make me smile, stretch, and start another day with all the adventures it has to bring.

Salt Cay, Turks and Caicos Islands

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