Auditory Explosion

I can enjoy the fact that the highlight of my day off was watching the ruby-throated hummingbird enjoy his new feeder I hung up for him this week.  About a week or so ago I caught my first glimpse of him through the living room window.  Throughout the week I spotted him again at the back porch checking out the herbs in their hanging pots.  Then again as I was about to step out the front screen door but paused when I heard buzzing and unique squeaks.  Something flew past me diving down and swooping back up, the buzzing sound increasing as it swooped closer-  the hummingbird again!

As soon as payday arrived, actually that very day, I went into town and picked up a humming bird feeder and some sugar. And the very next day, in less than 24 hours he was at the feeder sipping away.  Not as quickly as while staying with Joy, she spotted a hummingbird in her back yard that morning and moments later we were driving around the town trying to find a decent hummingbird feeder.  The task was completed and just hours later while eating pizza on her back porch the hummingbird joined us for dinner at his feeder.    I wish that when people saw me hanging around in their backyards they would immediately put out a plate of delicious vegan treats and wait around for me to come by to find and eat it.  And like with the hummingbird feeder, it wouldn’t even have to be a full meal, just a tasty treat to give me a little boost but I would still continue along my way and find more meals loaded with the nutrients I need.  I just had an image in my mind of the cliche of cherry pie cooling in a window….. a drifter sniffing it out and leaving something for trade in the windowsill.

While out getting the bird feeder I also picked up some supplies to grow some of my own food since my hopes are dashed on people just leaving treats out for me.  Ok, so it may be a bit late to get started, but I really miss gardening.  With doing field work, traveling and not really living anywhere for for more than a few months at a time, gardening hasn’t been a very practical idea for the past few years.  But I decided to just go for it, and try a new method for me, of growing it all in pots.  Tomatoes, bell and jalapeño peppers, kale, collards, spinach and mixed greens are all on the list.  I’m starting all of the leafy greens (except the one kale plant I came across) by seed which I’ve had previous success with but wish I would have started earlier.  Ohhh well!

It’s almost 21:00 and I’m waiting for the whip-poor-will to start calling.  He’s not always on time.. somewhere between 20:35-21:00 he’ll be in our driveway singing his heart out.  Sometimes I’ll hear the woodcock down at the end of the road singing and dancing as well- a distinct call for each of his ascending, descending and call on the ground.  One night, upon first discovering him, Michael led the household out to our neighbor’s backyard so we could listen and watch the woodcock due is nightly ritual.  Currently the grey catbird is meowing and chattering imitated calls in the backyard.  He hangs out in the backyard most days and always has so much to say.  I’ll admit sometimes I laugh to myself hearing him meow and squabbling away, and sometimes I meow back…

Just the other day while planting my little garden I heard for the first time in my backyard (which is a forest!)… a veery.  I heard them out at our worksite the other week, but it’s more exciting to hear them while sitting on the deck.  They have the most beautiful sound, I really love thrush calls though and actually for the past couple of weeks have also been hearing the wood thrushes calling.  The veery call reminds me of the sound of swirling around a corrugated plastic straw in the air, where as the wood thrush sounds like a robot imitating a flute call….something like that.

Spring time out of the city is a an auditory explosion for me- of natural sounds.  All of the sounds above are linked to their respective bird calls that the Cornell Lab of Ornithology shares with us.  It’s an amazing collection and a great site to help you ID some (or all) of the birds in your area by searching and browsing around on their Bird Guide.


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