The sounds of (near) silence

You may have wondered, how quiet is our village at this time of year? My answer: Very. The only occasional loud noises occur when a large truck or tractor rumbles through Daglan on the main street, or when someone is employing hammers and saws for a renovation project.

Otherwise, we are talking seriously quiet. I’ll illustrate with two brief examples.

Earlier this week, I was heading out our front steps when I paused to listen to a strange sound. It took me a few seconds to figure it out, but then I realized that the loudest thing I was hearing was — wait for it — the sound of leaves falling through the branches of a neighbour’s walnut tree. Yes, the loudest thing I could hear was the sound of falling leaves.

Now even that source of noise is gone. After just a few days, the cold we’ve been experiencing at night has caused most of the walnut tree’s leaves to drop, so that the tree top looks like this:

By now, nearly all the leaves are down.

And then yesterday, as I went out to my car, the loudest sound I could hear was the water gushing out of the nearby lavoir — the spring-fed pool that was used by previous generations of women to wash their clothes. Because we’ve had so much rain recently, more water than usual is running underground from the hills surrounding Daglan and winding up in the lavoir. From there it flows into a small stream, and then rushes on to the Céou River, a tributary of the mighty Dordogne.

In any case, here’s the source of all that rushing water noise:

The water eventually runs into the Céou.

To be fair, one regular source of noise that’s fairly close to our house is the village church. The church bells ring out the hour (five rings for 5 o’clock — a.m. or p.m. — and so forth), with one “ding” on each half hour. As well, the bells ring crazily at 7 a.m., noon and 7 p.m., calling the faithful to prayer; that’s called the angelus or angelus bell. Funnily enough, my wife Jan and I are so used to the sound of the bells that we hardly notice them.

As I said, it’s a pretty quiet village.


This entry was posted in Flora and fauna, Life in southwest France, Weather in the Dordogne and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The sounds of (near) silence

  1. Jill and Sam Hershfield says:


    (Quietly) Has your blog always been “ad supported”?

    • loren24250 says:

      Hi there. Not sure about the “ad supported.” Certainly it’s not anything I’m involved in, and I get no revenue from the blog. I suppose WordPress means that it — WordPress — benefits from selling ads. Helps them to defray costs of running this rather huge platform on which a lot of blogs reside.

  2. Joe says:

    Thank you Lauren.
    It is nice to know how a quiet village sounds.
    I have heard the sound of wind in the leaves around here,
    but not often. It takes a lot of wind, and lots of leaves.
    The leaves are all falling early this year.
    In some places they fill up the streets so you cannot see the pavement.
    One looked like a giant leaf covered field connecting two houses that face each other.
    There are so many hired yard men working trucks block one of the lanes,
    and you have to work your way around them. Cars back up waiting for one another
    to pass. And there is the lone homeowner working to clean up his own place,
    a man who does it himself. So much industry preparing for winter.

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