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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sounds of Summer


My friend Bea at Dog in the Hole Studios (see sidebar) mentioned how much she loves to hear sound of children laughing. I especially liked this line from her blog:  "We could hear the screams and laughter from a yard, across the field. ... if I could bottle that sound and play it all winter I would be so happy. What a great sound and wonderful energy."

I started thinking about the summer sounds I love best and realized they define the season for me.  Cicada's buzzing nearby, the sound starting low and then growing in intensity, then finally ebbing away to silence again.   Water rushing over rocks in a stream, a deafening roar of white noise punctuated by an occasional loud thud of a rock being relocated.  Prop planes passing overhead (less and less these days). Water slapping the side of a boat, and the click-whoooosh of a fishing line sent soaring through the air. The occasional dragonfly dive bombing our boat or a loud bumblebee passing by.


Those are the summer sounds of memory, when I lived in the suburbs and spent my free time in the country. These days I live in one of the busiest cities on earth. There are so many sounds here that they blend together into a hum that becomes white background noise to me. That's why I love getting away to our favorite Wyoming ranch, sitting on a saddle and riding into the forest. I need to see those dragonflies.

What are your favorite summer sounds?

12 comments:

Lisa said...

We drove home from vacation yesterday--the last five hours without a stop and with the a/c blaring because temps were in the upper 90's, lower 100's. Still, when we hit our neighborhood, down went the windows and I can't tell you how much I enjoyed hearing the cicadas!

One of the reasons I have always encouraged my kids to have their friends over is because I so love to hear them laughing. It's worth every drop of soda, bite of frozen pizza and mess in the basement.

Kat said...

Great post! I was just thinking about the sounds of summer yesterday, and how they are different here in Italy than what I'm used to at home. Here I'm loving the Cicadas (never had those any place I've lived before). At home I love the sounds of lawn mowers (not so common here) and trains late at night in the distance.

Holli said...

For me the sounds of summer were the ocean waves roaring up onto shore... the sounds of the boardwalk rides and vendors.... the pool sweep making it's rounds.... a bat cracking out a ball from a Little League baseball game.... a lifeguard's whistle.... and a weed eater starting up on a weekend morning.

teri said...

I love reading these comments so much. Each of them brings me to a moment so vividly. Isn't it funny how sounds and smells are so inextricably attached to memories?

Brenda said...

Right now with this excessive heat wave, I am sorry to say that the only sound I hear is the roar of the air conditioning which makes everything else inaudible. I love the sound of children laughing too especially when they are playing in water.

I like laying in bed at night and listening to the crickets and the sound of thunder (but only if it far away in the distance).

I wake up in the middle of the night and I can hear the train in the distance and sometimes a very low hum, which I still haven't figured out yet.

Funny, when I was in Italy, I don't remember too many sounds at night. Once my head hit the pillow, I was in the deepest sleep, and enjoyed it immensely. If only I knew, I would have bottled it up for the future.

I definitely think Summer is the season of sounds. Spring the season of sight. Winter the season of smell. Not sure about autumn. For me it is the season of sadness (not really a sense, but a feeling).

Great post.

Monkey Mind said...

I had the opposite experience - my earliest memories are of city noise. We didn't move away until I was older. Now that I live in the sticks I love hearing the birds and the frogs. And the silence. It's fun to go out at night and stare at the swirl of stars above and hear an occasional coyote or owl call (or a deer hoofing through my veggie garden - that's a very motivating sound!).

Tammy Freiborg said...

Yes, nature and the outdoors truly enlivens our senses. We just got back from camping and experienced many of the wonders of summer.

Bea said...

Great post. Daytime sounds of summer are different from the evening sounds. Field sounds are different from the woods sounds. When we lived in town I loved the sound of the trains coming through off in the distance or the church bells ringing on Sunday morning, the sound of the lawn sprinkler, spitz, spitz, spitz, spitz or the birds going from no noise to loud chirping at 4:15am.
But, as you said, most of all the sounds of children playing and laughing. :)Bea

Stephanie said...

HI Teri, my favorite sounds of Summer? Crows cawing over head, birds singing their hearts out, bicycles clicking and whirring when riding along on a long country road. Walking through the neighborhood and hearing sounds of families playing in their yards around smokey BBQs and sprinklers. I know that my favorite sounds are directly connected to smells too--the warm smell that happens after a Summer rain or the sprinklers, those smokey bbqs and campfires in the evening, cherry popscicles, all the amazing roses blooming etc. I hope you have a great Friday!

freebird said...

The birds singing in my trees! Lawn mowers humming. I don't know why they make the list but I love sitting and watching someone mow the grass and the sound is attached to it. We don't have grass where we live now; dirt and trees and a few oleander bushes. I saw a rattlesnake under one of them this morning and I can tell you two summer sounds I really DON'T like is the rattle of a snake's tail and the gun used to shoot it. (I can't leave the snake be as my dogs run under those same bushes).

Lizzi said...

Summer is the sound of baseball (preferably on the radio), cicadas, laughter (but isn't that the sound of every season?), splashes and dives and jumps in the pool, a crackling fire, the sizzle of the barbecue, and the hushed voices and giggles of talking late into the night.

JKW said...

I found your blog through your comment on wildartdolls about ning classes. I am an ning member also. I love your blog. This particular message reminds me of summer in Central IL living in the country outside the twin cities. Those were the days, however the ice and snow and minus temps were too much, I'm in So FL now. Blessings, Janet