Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sounds of Summer

One of my favorite things about summer is the chance to have the windows open, letting in the fresh breeze that gently floats the curtains out and back. I hate it when it gets too hot and the air conditioning must come on and the windows must close. Fortunately we've had several days, like today, that are perfect to enjoy the sounds of summer through the open windows.

When we first looked at this acreage it was a spring morning. We got out of the car and stood in awe of the chorus of birds that surrounded us. Our trees have grown, making more homes for the birds and everyday we enjoy their manifesto in tune. There are busy chatters, rhythmic patterns that repeat and repeat, and the occasional urgent warning call of "someone is getting too close to my nest". The trill that seems to demand attention and the short melody that expresses joy. The house wren has a light twitter that's high and throaty. The cardinals have an identifiable tone that makes me rush quietly toward the window to catch a peek of their brilliant color. While the bluejays' sharp caw, caw, caw warns the other birds to get out of the way, he's moving in.

The feeders attract a variety of birds and they all sing in happy voices while they help themselves to the goodies. I watch birds but I'm not a real birdwatcher so I don't know the voices of all the different birds and it's even a challenge to find the words to describe what I hear. There are other noises during the summer time that catch my attention, too.

On our sheep farm there is always the baa of someone but you'd be surprised how quiet they are once they've been fed. It's at feeding time they make the most ruckus. They see the shepherd coming and all baaing breaks loose. During the day it's usually the lonely bass baaing of the young ram, or a single ewe who can't find the gate to come through so she can join the rest of the flock that has retreated to the barn.

This time of year the yellow airplane buzzes back and forth, up and down as it takes target over the area corn fields, releasing its spray. The train whistle warns as it approaches the road crossings, I can count Knapp, Jessup, and Ingram as the train moves west and out of hearing range. There is the occasional rumble of the trucks that get too close to the edge of the highway. And of course the barking of our guard dog when a delivery truck comes up the lane. I love the sound of the children next door when in the middle of the afternoon it is swimming time. Their screams and laughter make me wish I could join them.

"Let me hear joy and gladness;" (Psalm 51:8a NIV).

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