Wednesday, August 15, 2007


After waiting for darkness to set in, and after a liberal dousing in Deep Woods Off, Nathalie and I drove out to the middle of nowhere to view the Perseid meteor shower Sunday night. We found a desolate stretch of a two-lane highway out in bayou-country and pulled off onto the shoulder. After placing a warning flasher by the car (no need to get rear ended by an oncoming car while stargazing), we put the top down on the convertible, reclined our seats and craned our necks up to the skies.

But other than being fooled initially by a passing airplane and then by a firefly shortly thereafter, we were only able to see four shooting stars before calling it a night. However, the first one we saw was spectacular, and despite the nauseating heat, Nathalie and I had a good time.

One thing we never realized was that cows moo a lot at night. Or maybe they moo a lot during the day as well. I would never know, considering I've never stopped the car next to a bunch of cows along the highway to listen, but we learned first hand that night that cows moo persistently. The minute we killed the engine and dropped the top, the mooing was immediately evident.

At first the distant (and not-so-distant) mooing of cows coming from the field on the other side of the trees along the highway was novel, rustic, and charming, so we elected not to drive to a different spot. Besides, where we were parked had a perfect view of the sky with no urban light scatter.

But I had no idea cows were this frickin' noisy. Normally, you'd think cows mooing would be soothing, and it was, except there would be a cow that would let out a wailing shriek every so often, as if it were possessed, or as if some demonic wolf-devil monster was slashing its throat open. It sounded like no Earthly cow noise I've ever heard. It was a completely unexpected and a totally spooky noise which scared the living shit out of us initially, but then became comical as the hour went on. Soon we were imitating that crazy cow.

And that's when we knew it was time to call it a night and go home.