Listen Quietly

Little Owl and Cat flew to the meadow. It smelled of blooming wildflowers and buzzed with the sound of honeybees gathering pollen.

[excerpt from “Hello Little Owl, Chipped Munk”]

children's book written to teach life lessons like being still and observant.   Also teaches about giving second chances and about trust.
Click to purchase.

Early one morning in July I went outside to the deck. It was beautiful and I was enjoying my alone time. In my hand was a bunch of peanuts to feed the chipmunk for breakfast. As I sat patiently, waiting for the little guy to show up, I became aware of all the different sounds I was hearing on a, presumably, quiet morning.

I closed my eyes and took mental note of how many sounds I could hear and identify in about a minute. It was a surprisingly busy morning in the woods!

Here is a list of sounds that tweaked my auditory senses:

  • A loon’s wings flapping it’s “watery runway” on takeoff
  • Honeybees buzzing around the sweet white clover
  • The higher pitched buzzing of black flies hunting a healthy piece of flesh to dig into
  • A woodpecker ‘s synchronized pecking as he searches for grubs in a hollow tree
  • The roof of our house creaking as the boards shift in response to the weather
  • Birds – Lots of them! Some chirping, others singing, whistling or warbling
  • Angry red squirrels chattering as they constantly scold each other
  • Chipmunk feet scampering across the deck towards me and his peanuts
  • The annoying whirrrrrrrr of a hungry mosquito
  • Dragonfly wings fluttering as they brilliantly chase after the hungry mosquitos
  • Hummingbird wings humming as they try to beat each other to the feeder
  • Bull frogs croaking messages to one another across the lake

So much for my alone time! That’s eleven sounds in a short period of time, and I’m sure there were many that went undetected by my aging ears!

At times, summer break can get to be a little overwhelming.  You’re trying to keep your kids entertained and, let’s face it, after a while you run out of ideas.  Some days your Children will end up going a little stir crazy. I suggest you take them outside, and encourage them to  be still, observant, and present in the moment .

Have some fun and try this very early in the morning. Close your eyes and listen to what’s going on around you. You may be at the beach, in the mountains, on a farm, in a city, or in the forest … it doesn’t matter! Count the sounds and try to identify them. I imagine you will be surprised to find you are not the only early riser!

What are some of your favorite sounds?

What sounds don’t you like?

What are warning sounds?

What are calming sounds?

What are happy sounds?

What are some sounds you would hear on a farm?

What about in the city?

Can you distinguish one bird’s song from another?

What sound does a duck make?

What sound does a crow make?

What about a chicken or a turkey or a chick-a-dee?          

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