Songs of Summer

One of my favorite things about summer (though I will admit there are A LOT of things I love about this time of year) are the sounds. It feels like the whole world is humming and alive. Some of my earliest memories of summer are of listening to the “summer bugs” as I called them – the crickets, grasshoppers, locust, and cicadas. Of course there were also bees and wasps making the air buzz. I also remember sitting on the porch as thunderstorms approached. Oftentimes it was the distant sounds that had alerted us to its advance and sent us to the porch to wait. Even today I love to listen to storms as thunder clacks and booms, rolls and echoes. And I love the patter of each raindrop onto the roof or ground, each storm bringing a different rhythm and pace.

I also love to listen to the birds in the summer. Sure, there are birds around all year, but they sound happier and louder in the summer and there are a lot more of them. At sunrise the dawn chorus begins. Near me the melody of the house finches filles the air (a BIG song for such a small bird!). We also have grackles chittering away at each other. There’s the occasional screech of a nearby raptor. And the hammering sounds of woodpeckers or the musical trill of red-winged blackbirds. One of my kids recently used a bird song identification app in our yard and recorded close to 20 different species of birds!

There are many other songs of summer too: the crack of a bat at a baseball game and the roar of the crowd; the splashes and cheers and shrieks at the swimming pool; the crackle of a campfire and sizzle of food barbequing; the whistle, pop, and boom of fireworks on the Fourth of July; the ribbits and peeps of frogs in a pond; the quaking and rustling of aspen leaves; and the splash of an oar on the lake and the gentle lap of water against the side of a kayak.

Best of all, summer is a season that offers time to sit and listen. And the more time we devote to just sitting and just listening, the more we hear. What do you hear? What are the songs of your summer?