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First, the birds come in to feed. They are much more tame now that I have moved their feeders to a tree from the metal spikes in the middle of the yard. Perhaps they are happy to gather together at the buffet and kibbutz about their day. The Chickadees and LBB (Little Brown Birds) are seed eaters, while the woodpeckers show a preference for the suet blocks.

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It reached 82° today. Amazing after the months of bitter cold and bleak, thin light. I took every opportunity to sit outside the store. The hub-bub of humans out walking and socializing made for a gay parade.

Back home tonight, Alice is beat from a day at her job and I have turned on the fountain. It trickles gently; a back-up band for the bird calls. There are no human noises other than Pandora playing acoustic guitar wafting out through the open windows.

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“Tea’s Ready!” screams a chickadee, “Peep Peep Peep Peep” the Hairy Woodpecker rattles back. A pair of Canada Geese honk by on their “end of day” retreat to the river across the valley. They sound as if they are creating their own traffic jam, busily calling out and flapping low over the house. The Raven whirls by, headed to his nest up back in the ledges. He caws, the wife answers and he is gone in the thicket of budding trees.

Mourning Doves coo gently as I walk across the front lawn to check the bees. A few dedicated workers are still returning. Their leg sacks are laden with bright yellow; the dandelions have emerged and the girls are flying farther afield in search of pollen. When I bend down and place my cheek on the warm hive, the buzz of life is a gentle, physical vibration against my skin.

Soon the songs die out and it is still and silent as the light fades. The peeper toads begin their quartet. It starts with the “Squeaky Bicycle” calls, then the “Quackers” join in with some percussion. The “Hummers” and the “Trillers” fill the void in the middle end of the scale. An orchestra of love and pursuit.

Was that the yip of young Coyote pups? Maybe I imagined it. I tip my head toward the swamp and listen. Puppies joyously call racing through the brush in hot pursuit of something. Their voices fade over the ridge below.

Much later, across the valley the bears will begin their song. The “Whoot Whoot” may sound like an owl at first but there is something more throaty and guttural about their call. They echo to one another and if their paths head this way, you will hear their “Chuff Chuff” as they grunt a greeting.

Into this world, the harsh ring of my landline phone makes me start. I grumble as I lose my train of thought (some would say it left the station years ago) and set off in search of the disruption. I glance at the number, a local exchange (we only have the “603” here in The Granite State.) I pick up and am immediately bombarded with a remote human voice wanting my political opinion. Yup, it’s election season and I’m hoping my phone service goes out as it did last Fall. Cell service is spotty here on the backside of the mountain despite a tower on the other side.

Tuning in to the rhythms of the land and its sounds is a gift no currency can buy.

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22 comments on “The Currency of Night Noises…

  1. Doppleganger says:

    How lovely…… as for the phone… I pick it up and immediately hang up again. Reduced intrusion, but an intrusion still… Your Orchestra sounds magnificent.

    1. Thanks Doppleganger! I am feeling so blessed to finally have Spring!!

  2. Touring NH says:

    Ahhh, the sounds of Spring! I wish the Do Not Call list included political calls. I can’t think of anything quite as annoying as a “polling”

    1. I request repeatedly to be taken off the lists, Laura. It does no good. So much nicer to listen to the sounds of Spring!!

  3. alinekaplan says:

    There’s a bird I call the “rusty swing” bird because its call sounds just like a rusty swing going back and forth. Do you know what that one is?

    1. I wish I did, Aline. Some of the woodpeckers have a sort of screech. I don’t have many exotic birds, just the run-of-the-mill ones but I love their songs.

  4. julieallyn says:

    Martha, I envy your gifts! You write so well, so descriptively. My mind (and heart) swoons as I picture and can almost feel the sights and sounds you describe. Damn those infernal phones! One reason why I often set mine to mute.

    Enjoy your day!

    1. Thanks Julie. With the mix up in getting my daughter home I jump every time the land line rings. Argh, the political pollsters are driving me crazy!!

  5. Did you put electric fencing around the bee hives? They’re what the bears are probably talking about.

    1. Yes indeed, Allen. Six strands of high tensile fence with a mega charge. If they try to mess with the hives they are going to get quite the reception!

      1. I saw something that looked like a concentration camp around some hives the other day and I thought of you. (and bears) This thing was even solar powered!

      2. Thanks Allen. I would love to use solar but it is initially very expensive. Probably saves $$ in the long term but coming up with several hundred for the solar charger isn’t in the budget this year.

  6. Nolsie says:

    What a great place to live. Sure beats the hum of a freeway. Just need to lose that landline! Always enjoy your posts, and continue to write your way out of any temporary setbacks!

    1. Honored, that you enjoyed my thoughts. Oh to lose that land Mine line! Would you believe me if I said it was a rotary phone? OK just kidding.

  7. cheryl622014 says:

    82!! LBB Dunnocks? Soundscape, frogs and crickets like Guyana and Jamaica. We had little frogs that sang in the toilet cistern, most off putting when you flushed…and weren’t quick enough…

    1. I so well remember the frogs in Jamaica and Trinidad, Cheryl! The mourning doves always remind me of early morning birds in the tropics. Great memories!!

  8. Marie Keates says:

    Sounds like an idyllic day. I love to hear the birds waking up as I walk to work these days. Later the cars drown them out along the roads. Thankfully our elections are now over but I’m not sure what the future holds, especially for our wonderful NHS.

    1. Such sensory overload after the dearth of winter, Marie. Hope you are enjoying Spring in your garden!!

  9. What a precious day of sounds. The most precious of all – Alice, looking like the queen of everything.

    1. Thank you Susan. The sounds of Spring are so welcome!

  10. Annie says:

    Following you as you wind down your day is music in itself…

    1. Aww, thank you Annie. It has been a tough week and I really needed to hear that. Hope Spring is finding you in Zone 5!

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