Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

Listen, That is the Sound of Progress

Windswept Ranch

Have you ever just sat and listened? I mean, really listened to the sounds around you?

Here at the ranch, we have amazing sounds. Earl, the emu, makes a sound like a chain saw trying to start. The baby reindeer "bark". It sounds like they are saying "owa owa". Our little mule deer fawn, Ember, "meows" and literally sounds like a kitten. Zebra bark a short shrill, breathless sound. Camels make such a unique sound I have thought of recording it and sending it to the Sasquatch Society. I am sure they would think it was Big Foot.

What got me to thinking about this was re-watching the movie "We Bought a Zoo". When I watch it, I am always waiting for the moment when the camel turns to the camera and speaks, that moment when a full day of recording here at the ranch puts Myrrh-y's voice in the mouth of that camel.

While my animals have been seen on the Hallmark channel and the Chelsea Lately show, most of the time they are just present in the sounds of movies.

Not long ago, sound people were here to pick up sounds for the upcoming Smurf movie. Watching them work is so interesting. It takes a great deal of patience for them to get the right sound. On this occasion, they were interested in alpaca sounds. But when they arrived, they heard Valentine, our bison, roaring and the plan changed. So we put a microphone on Bernadette, one of our alpacas and left her to do her thing, and began taping down by Valentine. The rest of the day, we just kind of followed the sounds taping the reindeer, horses, alpacas, and Pinky and TC, two donkeys who were very vocal.

It is so much fun when these movies come out to sit and pick out the sounds of our animals. In a different setting, they are so different and add so much to the film.

I love the sounds. Each is unique. It is so quiet here at the ranch that I can actually hear the wind beneath the ravens' wings. That kind of quiet doesn't just happen everywhere.

Now, imagine if you will, the sound of an 18 wheeler engine without a muffler. That, according to the information I have been able to find, is the sound the bullet train will make. And, it will be passing right over Windswept Ranch! Imagine that sound every 20 minutes from 7 a.m. til 10 p.m.

While nothing is set in stone as of today, I believe this is going to happen. And this quiet spot will never be the same. The sound of progress will drown out these amazing sounds forever. But right now, today, we are here and the animals continue to entertain with their amazing sounds. So why not come on out and listen while you can, before the sound of an 18 wheeler drowns them out forever. We are open Saturdays through October from 10 to 4 p.m.