For the last several days I’ve been listening.  Lots.  Closing my eyes and tuning into the orchestra of sounds playing through the woods.

We’re such a visually-oriented species.  Or, maybe I should say, I’m such a visually-oriented person.  It’s interesting to contemplate how we would navigate through the world if blindness limited our sight.  Would our listening deepen, our touch become so much more vital, our smells intensify, our taste expand?

Would our world be less rich, just because we couldn’t see?  I think, in some ways, we might learn to experience perception in a more visceral way.

So I’ve been listening to many, many sounds this week.  On Day 139 of this outdoor commitment, it’s good to be listening.

About two or three nights ago, I listened to music wafting through the trees from down on the Huron Bay.  Water magnifies sound, and haunting lyrical melodies sometimes entertain us in the evening.  This time it sounded like country music.  Perhaps coming from the tavern across the bay.  I can never determine where the music originates.  Because we’re at least a half mile from the bay, it’s not quite clear.  Hence, the haunting sound.  I get shivers sometimes just listening to the musical strains, whether it’s Kenny Rogers or classical or rock.  Fascinating.

Here are some sounds heard recently:

  • wind blowing.  Amazing that the wind sounds different near the ground, in the different kinds of trees, near buildings.  You might think all wind sounds the same.  Not at all.  Please listen!
  • trees cracking. 
  • birds chirping, singing, cawing.  It’s a jungle out here, I tell you!  Try to write down the bird calls.  chee chee chee chee.   me-me-me-me-me-me-me!  mip-mip-mip.  tweet-tweet. (I swear one really says tweet-tweet.)
  • steady pulse of our electric fence around our garden.
  • distant rumble of thunder.
  • clicking of wind turban on the roof of our house.  (And to think I was sitting next to it the other day on the roof…)
  • distant drone of cars, trucks, motors.  Very hard to distinguish from the wind when it’s windy.
  • rustling of dried leaves fluttering everywhere.  rustling of chipmunk, robin, other small birds.
  • bbbbrrrrr of bird wings flying by.
  • faraway whine of chainsaw.
  • drilling of pileated woodpecker on nearby tree. Sounds like:  bup-bup-bup-bup-bup-bup-bup-bup-bup-bup…
  • tree falling in the woods ( a small one)
  • neighbor’s rooster crowing.  Yes, they have chickens.
  • flies and wasps droning by.
  • patter of raindrops on roof, on grass, on dried leaves (all different sounds.  Who ever said all rain sounds the same?  Not so!)
  • grass growing.  Honestly.  You can hear grass growing.  I was totally amazed the first time I sat in the woods and heard the crackle of grasses and plants growing up through the dried-leaf undercover on the forest floor.  Anyone else ever heard this?
  • LOUD thunder overhead!!  Time to run inside!!

(Sorry, no photos today.  It’s not THAT kind of blog.  We need to give our eyes a break and listen instead.  Blessed are the sounds of the world…that’s what I’m thinking today…)