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Saturday, July 11, 2015

Night sounds

While lying awake in the comfort of my bed, I focused upon the wonderfully soothing sounds of frogs and toads in a flooded area of the field in back of my house. The sound is one that I miss most in winter and I am always gratified by its return each Spring. The sound of frogs in early spring is one of the first signs that we have been released from the icy grip of a long cold winter. It is a sound I always long for and it usually comes in late February, coinciding with the emergence of pussywillows. I recall hearing them this Spring on my way back from my spot in Deerfield where I have been cutting pussywillows for a few years.

In the last few months I have been highly focused upon my business and have not had much time for Nature. The rivers have been running high, and I have yet to go wading for smallmouth. I am hoping that our wet weather subsides soon, and the river clears.

Anyway, while I was lying there listening to the frogs, I thought of all the sounds I have been able to hear at my home. Earlier in the day I heard the distinctive call of a pileated woodpecker, which I have heard and seen more frequently this year. Our backyard is dominated by the songs of the wrens which have claimed our birdhouses. You would swear these blatant calls came from an enormous bird, but no. I am awaiting the sound of katydids at night that usher out the summer and signal the coming of fall.

While letting the frogs lull me to sleep, I heard a different sound, somewhat like the call of a wild turkey, which I have also seen nearby. The sound was softer, and it was quite dark. I got up and looked up the sound of owls on the computer. Thinking about the sound, it seemed to have a mechanical nature and I was reminded that Northern saw-whet owls are in our area, but I have never heard or seen one. The wonder of modern technology confirmed that it was in fact a Saw-whet. Nice!

It is always nice to be able to more fully understand the natural world, and I am hoping to spend more time immersed in the wonder of Nature.
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