Saturday, March 25, 2006

Woods sounds

Yesterday, I took the big walk, about 7 miles through the woods behind my house. I live about 15 miles from downtown Boston, and it amazes and delights me that I can walk out my back door directly into 600 acres of parkland, forests, and fields. There's immense development pressure on this land, so it's not clear how long this treasure will last, but every day that it's there and that I can walk in it is a special, simple, wonderful day.

On my walk yesterday, I heard some of my favorite woods sounds. When you're in or near a stand of high oaks or beeches, the sound of the wind blowing through the tops of the trees creates a distant, lonely sound. A quiet sound that you can't really hear if you're with another person.

The trees behind my house, and those along my neighbor's field, is home to a red tailed hawk. He is beautiful to see, soaring in endless loops over the field, but his harsh, innocent call is terrifying and stark.

Finally, as I was coming home, I heard a hairy woodpecker tapping away in a tree in my back yard.

I had trouble locating him, but with patience I noticed a dead limb in the tree, and there he was.

The sounds of the woods. Something simple that I like.

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