Gayla's latest prompt for the Grow Write Guild asks, "What does your garden sound like?" Most of the time, my garden sounds like suburbia. I'm limited by housing association rules and space, so I can't grow a tall thick sound buffering hedge. There's traffic noise from the superhighway less than a mile away. The local fire department is on my street, so the fire trucks go by often. There's local traffic. There are lawn mowers and string trimmers droning. My community is also quite walkable, with an extensive inner walkway system and pedestrian underpasses that make it possible to go to the grocery store without ever walking across a street. Lots of people take advantage of it, so there are the sounds of snippets of conversation, barking dogs and exuberant children. My neighbor's cat gets put out twice a day, and she apparently doesn't like being outside. She howls, sometimes for more than an hour, until someone lets her back in.
I think we're about to get extra noisy here this year, as Brood II periodic cicadas are due to emerge soon. I'm not sure if we getting this brood where I am or not - I've seen some maps that show them here and some that don't. In any case, this brood isn't as big as Brood X a few years ago, but I still expect them to be plentiful and loud! They're beautiful insects with their lacy wings and bright red eyes, so I'm rather hoping to see them.
One of my favorite sounds is outside the gardening season. In midwinter, with a little breeze and early in the day when things are a little quieter, my neighbor's beech tree sings. Ok, maybe it doesn't sing. But it holds its pale brown, dry papery leaves well into the winter, and it makes a beautiful papery rustling when the wind blows. I've been known to stand and just listen to if for a few minutes before getting into my car and heading off in the morning.