Monday, August 11, 2008

Do you hear what I hear

It's a gorgeous day out today - it seems more like May than August. I'm sitting here, listening to the Olympics playing on TV in the next room. The windows are open in our sunroom and in the background I can hear the high-pitched buzz of the cicadas in the trees.

Even though we lived out in the country, we also lived on a main highway, so it was very rarely perfectly quiet at the farm. The sounds also changed with the season.

Winter was fairly quiet, just the general lowing of the cattle and passing vehicles. Occasionally we would hear a coyote or an owl in the distance. And perhaps the dogs barking at a raccoon.

Spring was a little more noisy. The warm weather brought the birds back (though we almost have more birds in the city than we did out in the country, mostly due to the generosity of our next door neighbor with the peanuts and the bird feed. We even have a pair of mourning doves that have taken up roost on the top of our garage) and you would hear the distant hum of the machinery as the farmers worked the fields.

Summer was a little louder yet. More vehicles passed by on the highway and the cicadas came out in full force, along with the bats, toads and lightning bugs. Okay, so I know you can't technically hear lightning bugs, but they were always fun to catch. So I'll say mosquitoes and flies. Summer definitely brought out the mosquitoes and flies, especially when you have cement lots full of cattle and their manure.

Fall was perhaps the noisiest season of all. You would hear the wind blow through the leaves on the ground and the empty branches in the trees. There was the hum and roar of the tractors, combines and trucks as the farmers did the harvesting. We also had a grain dryer on the farm, so we would have that constant buzz in the background. Fall was also the time dad and the guys did the weaning of all the calves born in the spring and summer, so we would have to put up with a week of bellering and bawling of the calves wondering what this strange place was and why they no longer had warm milk from their mamas.

Granted, the city we live in now is fairly small, so it's not as noisy as other places, but I still miss the quiet of being in the country. I appreciate it even more when we're out at the ILs in BFE were there is practically no traffic and you can really enjoy the wonder of nature around you.

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