The Earth’s rich mosaic of life has a complex and gorgeous voice.”Hank Lentfer
It’s evening now, and this time of year the melodious up and down buzz of locusts fills the air in my neighborhood…must be a hundred of those large, nearly 2 inch long, fat, green insects rubbing their legs as if they are bows on fiddles…the orchestral piece is stunning! Can you hear it in the trees outside…the buzz up and down the musical scale, on and on?
The purr of the hummingbird wings (90 beats or more per second) as the tiny feathered friend with its throat decked out in ruby red scarf…then in zips an angry hummer intruder, fast, with its shirring, purring hum as it darts after the one feeding on the red sugar water that hangs on my porch. Now both hummers have quickly darted off, only to have one of them return shortly. Can you hear those beating wings with an occasional “chip, chip” of its tiny voice?
Then out back from the deep woods comes the raucous call of the pileated woodpecker…I can see it in the tree as it flies near me, its large red crest standing as if it is all butched…its raucous call breaks the silence of the morning as the sun rises and the day slowly reached full speed.
Or maybe you are sitting at the base of a large oak soaking up all the nature around you in the cool of the day. Hear the wind in the trees…the pines over there almost seem to whistle so softly in the breeze…leaves of the red maple twitch and turn a bit.
Not uncommonly this time of year a silent moment reveals the pelting of tiny bits of insect droppings from vast armies of walking sticks, caterpillars, or some other ravenous insects as they defoliate the trees…droppings resounding on the brown leaves of the forest floor like so much sleet in the winter woods.
Many are the sounds, some so quiet and soft, almost unnoticed (not the crashing, thunderous storm)… quiet moments, sweet songs, a scampering here and there, the snort of a doe warning her fawn…check out the biodiversity as Hank Lentfer so ably puts it, “The Earth’s rich mosaic of life has a complex and gorgeous voice.”
Dr. Don Culwell, Programs Director
Gates Rogers Foundation