Thursday, December 28, 2006

A Sense of Hearing

Continuing with the senses tour; today I would like to write about the best thing my ears have ever heard. I’ve heard a lot of very interesting music and sounds over the years. Most people if posed the question of what the best sound they ever heard would reply to say the voice of their child, the voice of someone that said, “I love you”, or the sound of rain on a tin roof or maybe the sound of waves in the ocean, or maybe a particular concert they attended. For some it would be the crack of a ball confronting a baseball bat, or a cork being released from a bottle.

My favorite sound is a little less common and less sentimental. I’ve heard a lot of the sounds of nature. Some of the remarkable ones have been loons and whip-or-wills of the North woods. Whistling elks and howling coyotes are remarkable as well.

My favorite sound is that of the Swainson's thrush (Catharus ustulatus) This thrush is an unremarkable bird to look at. It is very good at hiding or blending in. This bird ranges through most of Canada and the Pacific Northwest.

It isn’t a creature of great pulchritude, but its voice is like liquid in an echoing canyon. You will hear this bird in the evenings in July. The day has been long and warm, and when you are about to settle down for the evening this bird begins its song. It is most dreamy and probably the most welcome sound to my ears. You may hear this remarkable sound at the link below.

Swainsons Thrush


Blogger Mom of Three said...

You know those bamboo windchimes? Not the metal ones. The big, throaty ones? I love those. I also love the cello. Absolutely.

My kids playing together and laughing uncontrollably and the wind or hard rain. Love those.

My dopey Basset Hound's arroooooing I could often do without...

9:34 PM  
Anonymous gearhead said...

We have a black bird around here, about the size of a small robin thats really cool.
My old retired neighbor told me once that it is a worbler.
Anyway, if you listen to them in the spring, their song is a string of ever changing sounds, styles and structure.
It is like taping every bird song, end to end and playing the entire tape.
My neighbor believes that this bird copies the other birds.

10:32 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Mo3, what is the best? This whole week I've been focusing on the totally personal best for each of the senses. It's a fun little walk down memory lane for me.

Gearhead, I had a flock of starlings that would mimic my chickens. It was pretty funny. I've been thinking of getting chickens again and especially a rooster or two to remind the new neighborhood around me what it sounds like at 5am when you live in the country. ; )

6:11 AM  

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