Natural senses and tendencies

Town day.  All the logistical challenges you already know about and then some.

Pleasant surprise: we had a short appointment to meet a couple who wants to give OTG living a try.  Nice people.  Capable.  They’ll do well. The interesting part is that they have been reading this blog and it helped encourage their OTG feelings.  Seems we have been a bit of an influence! Sheeesh!  I usually have to get people drunk to influence them.  So, for sure, the influence of this blog has been very slight and they are inclined this way on their own but we may have played a minuscule part.

That will be my defense if I have to go to court, anyway.  

In fact, I know that to be true.  As it turns out they have been living the OTG lifestyle even while technically on the grid.  Like I said before, OTG is a mind-set more than a location and, in their case, their having lived a long time in an RV is pretty much living part of the OTG lifestyle. You may rely on the grid while RV’ing but you are unplugged and more independent than is the condo dweller.

But I have been thinking… OTG is an inevitable off-shoot of the grid getting bigger and more popular.  As gazillions move TO the city, it is a natural and inevitable fact that some will move in the OPPOSITE direction.  It is the way of all life.  Most go one way, a few strike out differently.  It’s Darwinism.  Evolution.  Even Newtonian physics is at play..’for every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction.’  I have no delusions that OTG’ing is even close to equal but it is definitely opposite.  My guess is the inevitable and natural urban backlash is showing up in OTG’ing and many other places, as well.

On another note…………I was on the deck at 9:00 pm last night.  Black as pitch.  No moon. No stars. But it was quiet.  Very quiet. Mausoleum quiet.  And then, NOT!  I heard something out on the water that I had never heard before.  It was a cross between a call or bellow and a heavy cough.  It was regular but not exactly rhythmic.  The timing was like that of a dolphin that breathes when it surfaces but can vary the time in between.  But the sound was coming from something much larger – like the size of a sea lion.  But it wasn’t a sea lion (I have heard them).  It wasn’t any sea creature I had ever heard before so I wondered if it was a bear or an elk or something big that was swimming between islands.

But it was NOT just regular breathing – so why would a large mammal swimming make calling or bellowing sounds?

Sal listened, too.  “No idea.  Strange.  But it does not seem to be in distress.  I think, therefore, that is has to be comfortable enough in the water.  Probably a sea creature of some sort.  Maybe an otter?”

“Too loud and deep-pitched to be an otter.”


The other day, late in the afternoon – while we were working outside – we heard a wolf pack announcing a kill on the opposite island.  They howled back and forth for maybe fifteen or twenty minutes.  It was loud, piercing and, like always, made the hair on the back of your neck stand up.  And it was in day-time which is unusual for us.  We usually hear the wolves at night.  Magic.

So, what is the point?  Nothing much.  Just our environmental sounds.  Or the lack of them.  Quiet, mostly. The bliss of blessed silence and then the magic of different, mostly natural sounds.  We ‘hear’ more out here.  We rely on our hearing in ways that we don’t in the city.  Of course, we are still much more visual animals than we are olfactory or hearing reliant but the percentage changes when you are out here.  Hearing and smell assume slightly larger roles in our sensory lives.  It’s subtle as a rule but not last night.  Last night it was all centre-stage aural.  It was all in the ears.

What a great place to live, eh?

6 thoughts on “Natural senses and tendencies

  1. A friend of mine worked in a logging camp in Kingcome inlet several years back. The camp he was in was woken by a hell of a racket on the other side of the river at midnight.
    Turned the spotlights on and saw a cow from an indian village being chased by a pack of wolves. It jumped into the very cold, fast flowing river and began swimming towards their camp with wolves swimming in pursuit. The workers in the camp grabbed a few rifles and fired off some shots to scare the wolves. Most of the wolves scattered. The Alpha male actually climbed on the cow’s back and tried to kill it but the cow made it and the wolf swam back across the river…..They also had a bear walk into their cookhouse one night and start eating fresh baked pies cooling on a window ledge……but thats another story.


    • Ya know………..of all the guesses, that makes the most sense (big enough and mammal enough and unusual enough) ‘cept the damn thing did not seem to be making much progress and you’d think a cougar could move along at some kind of pace….no? Seemed to be ‘in situ’ most of the time. But we only listened for ten minutes or so…….so maybe….?


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