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Lost and Found Sounds

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Last month a local blogger, commenting on the NPR series about lost sounds lamented those sounds from our past that have disappeared from our lives. Interestingly enough, many of the sounds she noted were ones still very much present in our lives.

Like radio static. You want radio static? Come to our house. Between the scanner and my husband’s radios, I get to hear all sorts of static.

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One of his old receivers, that he will still mess around with occasionally. As for the scanner, it is how we know what is happening, even more current than twitter or facebook, the scanner frequencies for fire and police, and the local Columbia repeater for 2 meters yield us instant info about fires, accidents, and just general stuff. The repeaters are manned by amateurs doing Skywarn during storms like we had Thursday.

Children playing. Out here we always hear our neighbor’s little ones outside, laughing and running around, or riding their bikes. There are always wiffle balls or tennis balls in our field. Errant tosses while they are enjoying the sunny days.

We left behind the sirens and helicopters of Columbia, and gained tractors, birds, roosters and SILENCE. Sometimes here it is the silence that amazes us the most. Dark, quiet evenings.

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Full moon. Some evenings I would wait outside looking at the stars and hearing nothing, waiting for my husband to get home from a meeting. Looking for the deer. Or watching a satellite in the sky. No sounds. Just complete silence, and a car every three or four minutes.

Who knew what noise squirrels make? We have learned. Between the squirrels, the rabbits and the birds, I have been serenaded while having morning coffee on the patio. Of course, my all time favorite is the hawk.

Hawk January 2011 058

He likes to make his presence known. He and my other neighbor’s rooster. I don’t have a picture of him but you heard him all day, thankfully somewhat muted as they were about a 1/4 mile away. They have moved on, so the rooster sound has disappeared.

Last, the tractors. Not lawn mowers. Real hay baling equipment or massive tractors with drag behind cutters. These kinds of tractors. Across the street. Next door. A few times every year. Cutting hay.

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I have traded city sounds for country sounds. A slower pace. Sounds of people cutting fire wood. Muzzle loaders during deer season. Fireworks (yes, we know they aren’t supposed to have them, but believe me, there are some serious fireworks out here on New Year’s Eve and 4th of July).

I can hear the cows mooing on some mornings, from the farms across the “hollow”.

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I don’t miss all the traffic noise, the Medevac helicopters heading over the house many nights every week, the police helicopters occasionally. Sounds of the city.

I am much happier and less stressed even when the pileated woodpeckers get noisy.

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About AnnieRie

Retired, I am following my dream of living in quiet west Howard County, a rural oasis, not far from the urban chaos, but just far enough. I love to cook, bake, garden, and travel. I volunteer at Howard County Conservancy. I lead nature hikes, manage programs and show children all the wonders of nature, and the agricultural connection to their food.

3 responses »

  1. I know I’m in the right place, when I go to sleep to the sound of a cricket symphony…


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