Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sounds from Home

Some of the visitors to My Florida Backyard are quiet and peaceful. Butterflies glide in and out without making a sound; birds like ibis and egrets wander through with nary a peep. Others make soft sounds, like the coo of mourning doves. Still others are noisier, like squabbling ducks or the ubiquitous limpkin.

Some animals make noises all out of proportion to their size. Squirrels are a terrific example of this. Here in Florida, squirrels seem small to those from up north. To deal with the summer heat, most mammals are smaller here than in cooler climates. The size of our squirrels makes no difference when it comes to noise, however. Whether they're racing across the back porch screen, screeching away at neighborhood cats, or chattering to each other over sunflower seeds, it's amazing how much noise these little creatures can make.
Frogs and toads are also surprisingly noisy. On a quiet afternoon recently, I heard the constant croaking call of a frog as I sat in the living room. I was pretty sure it wasn't in the house, so I went searching for it outside. Down along the lake shore, I found it, dozing in a patch of sun and croaking lazily, as if from habit rather than necessity.

On a spring or summer night after a rain, the frogs really ramp it up. We've had times when their calls are so noisy as to prompt us to close the windows so we can hear the TV. Those very loud calls after rainstorms are often mating calls - hard to imagine any female in the area ignoring them!

Whether we can see it or not, nature is always with us. Even with your eyes closed, you can enjoy plenty of what nature has to offer - the warmth of the sun, the lingering fragrance of jasmine in the air, the chirp of cardinals feeding nearby. My Florida backyard offers them all, and plenty of sights to see as well.

1 comment:

  1. That little frog looks like he's lovin the sun on his face. They really do turn up the volume after a's amazing.