Tuesday, September 13, 2011

101 things to do outside with children #7: Listen for nature

Airplanes tearing through the sky overhead. Buses lurching to a stop, then starting again. Cars racing past. People shouting and talking. Dogs barking. Car doors slamming. Garbage trucks roaring down the street. Sirens wailing.

This is what my children and I noticed in just a few short minutes of walking through the neighborhood. last week. Granted, we live in an urban area and these kinds of noises are par for the course on any given day. Early in the morning, as we're walking to school, so much noise feels like an assault on my senses. It gives me an appetite for nature sounds.

Where you live, what kind of noises do you hear on a regular basis? How many of them are nature-based? Here in Minneapolis, it's sometimes hard to "tune out" the city sounds, and tune in the nature sounds.

The other day, when we really tried, we could hear some nature sounds, buried in among the city noises:

an angry squirrel chuck-chucking in a nearby tree,
a goldfinch twittering as it bounced through the sky,
a crow, clearing its throat,
and of course, lots of wind (we're ushering in a cold front, after all!)

Admittedly, this was really difficult! Of course, all things get easier with practice, right? We're practicing finding nature sounds now, in the mornings, when we're all still tired and especially need some gentler noises to help us greet the day.

Where you live, how hard to you have to try to find the nature sounds in the cacophony of everyday life? Can you do it?

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