It’s not easy being green…

It is a common misconception that country life is quiet. Granted, country life is void of police sirens, yelling neighbors and speeding cars, but it is far from silent.

The first week we lived in our new country home, the silence seemed deafening. The second week, we learned how intrusive the silence can really be. The third week, an 11-year-old Drew jumped out of bed at 6:30 in the morning, stomped through the house, threw open the patio doors and screamed “SHUUUUUT UUUUUP”.
He was yelling at the squirrels.

The rodents in the woods chatter constantly. The chipmunks are nattering at the squirrels, the squirrels are squeaking at the birds, and the birds are busy imitating every other sound you can think of. Woodpeckers prefer the repetitive knock of the jack hammer, blue jays choose the squee of fingernails on a chalkboard, and the little, as of yet unidentified, bird who insists on sitting on a branch outside my window imitating the sound of a rusty sign swinging in a slow breeze…
ree-ree…ree-ree…ree-ree…ree-ree…ree-ree…ree-ree…ree-ree…ree-ree…ree-ree…ree-ree…
Don’t even get me started on the whippoorwill.

Repetitive birds aside, there are some really great noises where I live. Obscure noises, the ones that make your day when you find yourself lucky enough to hear them. The hoot of an owl, which you would think was a common occurrence in the trees, but truly isn’t. The piercing call of a bald eagle, a sound as elusive as the sight. And the frogs.

The greatest sound heard in country life is the frogsong. Unfortunately, most people mistake the frogsong for crickets. Bearing a similar chirp, the average passerby brushes off the sound as a million insects rubbing their wings in unison. Should that passerby pause for a few moments, and listen, honestly listen, he or she would hear the harmony of the frogs. The frogs sing in perfect tune, each one complimenting the next, a natural melody hitting exact chords and notes. The longer one listens, the louder the crescendo.  It’s the most soulful mating song you will ever hear.

I love to sit outside at this time of year, just to hear the frogs. Being lucky enough to live across from a protected marsh, we’re audience to their singing any night we choose.

 

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9 Comments

  1. April 6, 2010 at 12:25 am

    I was so right there with you, hearing the frogs.

    There are tiny tree frogs here, and they put out incredible volume for their size.

    I’m only guessing, but the “ree ree” bird sounds like sparrow-speak to me.

    • April 6, 2010 at 9:26 am

      Really? A sparrow? When we lived in the city, all we ever saw was sparrows, but to tell you the truth, I don’t ever remember hearing them, not once. Or perhaps I did, and mistook it for random city blather. Huh, I think that’s just too damn cool. Thanks Mikey.
      And thank you for listening to the frogs with me…

  2. willowbatel said,

    April 6, 2010 at 2:03 am

    We only have chickadees and… juncos (?) here at the moment. I miss all the chatter of the birds. I hear more airplanes taking off and sirens blaring then I do anything else.
    You’re so lucky to have frogs. Oh I want them so bad. They’re so CUTE! All tiny and green or brown. And they have the most beautiful calls. *sigh* I’m jealous.

    • April 6, 2010 at 9:33 am

      Juncos are pretty birds! I certainly don’t miss the sounds of the city, though.
      If you’re able to get your insect population back up to normal, frogs would be a nice addition to your gardens, all it would take is a small “puddle” type pond…frogs thrive in standing water (and will keep it free of mosquito larvae)
      I love how we’re so jealous of each other all the time…lol

      • willowbatel said,

        April 6, 2010 at 2:20 pm

        We used to get all kinds of birds at our old house. There was this one bright yellow and orange one that looked like it was straight out of the tropics. It was really pretty but only came by for like two weeks every winter. I miss being able to hear the coyotes howl and the owls hoot. We once had an eagle on our roof. We were sitting there watching TV and all of the sudden the eagle jumped off of the roof and took flight right in front of us. We didn’t even know it had been there.
        I really hope to get a little pond going soon. I have an area set up for it, all I have to do is dig the hole, lay down some tarp, and fill it with water.
        Hahaha, I know. We always want something the other one has. I think we need to just visit each other’s houses for a day, take a few of the things we want and go home. Of course, I don’t think I could keep an owl in my house, but no one would notice would they?

        • April 6, 2010 at 7:07 pm

          Seeing the eagle so close would be amazing! I keep trying to catch a photo of the one in the marsh out front, but it’s like he knows everytime I’m out there with a camera. I’m not sure how everyone would feel about an owl flying around the living room! Hehehe, THAT would be awesome, you could train it to pick the pups up and take them outside to pee! I could try sending you a care package and just fake it through customs, “no sir, the deer is robotic, and the owl is stuffed, oh and the frogs? Garden ornaments!”

  3. willowbatel said,

    April 6, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    We only got one picture of the eagle at our house. But it was with the crappie camera so you can’t even see him.
    Hahaha that would be awesome. Especially if I got away with it. All the things I’d send you would be much easier to get through customs. Well… they might think that all of the bulbs were bombs. In which case there would be trouble.

  4. timethief said,

    April 7, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    We have a creek, a stream and a pond on our property and I love falling so sleep to the frog song lullaby. Remarkably I once knew a newcomer from New York city who complained that it kept her awake at nights. She was an oddball who considered Douglas firs and Cedars to be weeds. She purchased a 20 acre property with a huge stand of 1st generation firs and cedars on it but when she tried to find local fallers who would log the trees for her they refused the job. By the time the frogs stopped singing and winter rains began she was selling her property and heading back to the continual noise produced by urban living. I can’t say I was sad to see her go.

    • April 7, 2010 at 5:11 pm

      I wouldn’t be sorry to see her go either.
      That sort has to be the worst kind of urban refugee…the ones who want to clear the land so it looks like a football field, as if they think it’s doing the land justice.


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