Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Cardinals, Squirrels and Wind Chimes!

Oh boy! Summer is finally upon us in the Great White North and I for one couldn't be happier. Sunshine, heat, blue skies, viewing the world again through the lens of technicolour, and freedom for my toes are all part of my basking in the glow of my favourite season. Summer has a rhythm and a soundtrack all its own, and while I am generally loathe to heap scorn upon this beautiful time of year, (I spend way too much time and energy complaining about the cold!) I have just spent the past several hours taking in the sounds of the season from the vantage point of my own backyard. Some are lovely- some not so much-but all combined to remind me why I love this time of year.
  1. The anxious call of the cardinal. We have noticed over the last several weeks that a cardinal and his mate have made our pool area their summer home. The Husband went on a search late last week and believes that he found the nest in a towering pine that overlooks the water. I have been stalking the poor birds with a camera hoping to capture them to digital disc, (It just doesn't have the same cache as saying "capture them on film" does it?) but they are after all wild and free, and I am not that skilled as a paparazzi. Today while trying to catch some rays, I noticed the male perched on the chimney of our home, wildly calling for the lady of the nest. Perhaps she was lunching with friends? He kept up his racket for a good 10 minutes before she finally deigned to respond and showed up to quiet his wailing. The irony of the male/female dynamic was not lost on me! The two flew off together to parts unknown, but not before I committed their calls to memory. I am now totally enraptured by the avian sounds in my backyard and hope to identify a few more before the summer is done. Music to my ears!
  2. The f@#*ing squirrels are back so it must really be summer. I have often lamented in this space about these menacing rodents that have used my property like their own personal spa. Today only reminded me of why they make me wish that Dick Cheney was my hunting buddy. The pear tree by the pool is sprouting what can only be described as "pearlettes"! This nascent fruit is so tiny that calling it fruit is insulting to real fruit. Anyway, I was sitting in my chair, minding my own business and engrossed in a truly trashy novel, when a sound from above disturbed my peace. I looked up into the upper branches of the tree when I spied the little bugger. He was gazing down on me, watching me watch him, and then (I swear he giggled as he did this!) yanked a prepubescent pear off of its branch and began grinding away at it. The f@#*ing little bugger sounded as though he was sawing wood. I was so pissed off, that I began to bark like a dog. The deeper I barked, the more the little asshole laughed and, once sated he scurried off to enjoy the neighbour's "applelettes!" I really hate squirrels!
  3. My next door neighbour has a thing for wind chimes. Now, I realize that I may be in the minority here, but I am not a big fan of wind chimes. I find the musical tones quite off-putting and several of these things going off together at the same time really sets my teeth on edge. Too much dissonance for this musician. The slight breeze in the air today was quite lovely, unless you were sitting next to several wind chimes like I was. I think that I would rather have listened to the f@#*ing squirrel. (Notice how this has become the little bastard's full name?) Wind chimes should require permits like home additions and fences. Let me listen to it first and then I will decide if it is tolerable or if it is like fingernails on a chalkboard. Today was like the latter.
  4. The Jonas brothers wafted their way into my yard this afternoon. I have never been a fan of bubblegum and the only way that I know that it was the Jonas brothers caterwauling across my neighbour's yard was the shrieks of two pre-teen girls yelling out their names. They had the radio cranked up so loud that I honestly thought that the brothers were giving a live concert. Now, I was amongst the fortunate parents whose boys never enjoyed the flavour of the moment when it came to music. While all of their friends were into The Spice Girls or The Backstreet Boys, my musical connoisseurs were discovering new gems like Led Zeppelin, Dave Matthews and Pink Floyd. Imagine their shocked glee to stumble upon their father's treasure trove of the entire catalogue of Queen albums on vinyl. The teen-scene in music was never their thing, so I thankfully avoided the garbage. But, I can see that I might have to keep the iPod juiced at all times this summer to avoid the newly minted teenagers across the way. I am always looking for something new to add to the library. Anybody willing to share hidden musical gems?
  5. Today was the first day that I actually spent some quiet time in the yard. Just as I was settling in, the guy behind me decides to mow his lawn. A very large and expansive lawn. It took a good half hour to get through the noises of the mower, weed-whacker, and leaf-blower. The iPod couldn't find a volume loud enough to drown it out.
  6. Garbage trucks! Sorry Toronto, but it seems like this is a sound that you might not hear all summer. Maybe living in the city above Toronto has some advantages after all, as I am actually looking forward to the familiar rumble tomorrow.
So, the cacophony of summer has begun, and while I am not complaining too loudly (Ok! Maybe a little bit!) I would appreciate a bit of quiet this year. Summer is supposed to be lazy and tranquil. Let's strive for a bit more of that.

1 comment:

  1. Looking for ipod recommendations... Willy Porter! Look especially for Unconditional, Breathe, Angry Words, Jesus on the Grille, ... but it's all fabulous. Also, California Guitar Trio.