There are no sidewalks where I live and the roads I walk on have a lot of blind hills. I have to be listening constantly for oncoming cars. On windy nights like tonight it’s an extra challenge because the wind coming over the hills sounds just like a car. Jazz and I stop and step into the shoulder, wait a few moments and if the wind dies down and there’s no further sound, we’re safe to continue.
My listening ability comes in very handy on my walks with Jazzmin and not just for avoiding cars. I’m always listening for the sounds of deer crashing through the woods or squirrels scampering among the leaves. This gives me warning before they run out in front of us and I can make sure I have Jazz in control. There are quite often times when she walks blissfully by unaware that 10 feet off the road there’s deer staring at her or a squirrel sitting up in a tree. I’m not about to call her attention to them.
Mostly what I listen for and to are the songs of the birds. Take a walk with me and I’ll tell you what song belongs to what bird. There are still a few songs I don’t recognize but tonight I heard an Eastern towhee, tons of robins, cardinals, grosbeaks, chickadees and blackbirds. I learned three new bird songs today. This morning I heard and saw a mockingbird and this evening I heard and saw a Baltimore oriole and some other mysterious bird I still haven’t identified.
I apologize for the low quality pictures of the oriole and the mystery bird but the camera on my phone only zooms in so far and the birds wouldn’t obediently come closer. It was the perfect night for a walk and the breeze helped keep us cool and keep the bugs away. Jazz is always happy to be out walking and having so many beautiful things to see and hear makes it my favorite kind of exercise.
I’m a listener by nature; a listener and observer. I was a shy kid and still am somewhat shy in person until you get to know me. So rather than participate, I listened and watched. You can learn a lot by keeping your lips zipped and your ears open. I know I did. The side effect of this is that when I’m with my friends and family, I’ve observed so much, am so eager to share it and have been quiet for so long that I talk really fast. I suppose in that respect I resemble the song birds because I have a lot to say, though I do so in a far less musical way.