Thursday, August 26, 2004

nighttime noises

When it rains outside, the broad leaves of hostas and pumpkins provides a sound similar to the shower running in the bathroom:


On our last of the night inspections, Franklin and I wander amid the garden, lit up only by the whites (garlic chives, daisies, and a wonderful repeating iris that has started opening up its white tissued petals again, and the big hostas). The wet air hovers as we look out over the night.

The dog is smelling the ground, interpreting signs of a rabbit, or chipmunk, or neighborhood cat that might have wandered across the yard in the minutes prior to our going outside. He does not have the best eyesight, but his sense of smell is strong.

As usual, I am unsure what I am looking for -- the senses are a thing unto themselves, and sometimes I like not thinking, but just looking, feeling, hearing. Gardens are good for that kind of quiet.

But these last few weeks, the night creatures have been in full throated song, as loud as I imagine the seventeen year cicadas who never appeared this summer in the townlet, despite the hype. Of course, our ordinary cicadas, crickets, grasshoppers appear to only sing at night, and without the competition of daytime noises, the tunes are amazingly in your face.

I listen. The other night I was sitting in the house and a cicada or a grasshopper landed on the window. It was green. Green bean green. I could see the back legs twitching, the actual source of this creature's musicmaking. I got to see it, looking at the bug from its belly side. Rub, rub, rub.


avril said...

I love your writing~bellisimo! I read somewhere that for a dog, being outside and sniffing the ground is akin to our daily reading of the newspaper-always something new to find out about local happenings and past events. I try to remember that now when I feel impatient with my own canine companions on a walk.

lemming said...

"Rub, rub" this would be Franklin's tummy, no? Lovely though I am for feeding and walking Sam, it is in the tummy rub departmen that I am essential...

Anonymous said...

This is lovely, Don. I'm going to save and reread this often in the depth of winter, whenever it seems like nothing will ever be "green bean green" again. Cheers.

Chan S.
Bookish Gardener

Don said...

Thanks all of you for your comments. In early and middle summer, the night was full of fireflies. Now its the sounds that are so loud that they grabbed my attention. I noticed that there are frogs among the choir, too.

Chan -- I have such a lousy time with late winter, trying to even remember what my garden looks like. Frozen ground is a brutal eraser of memories. I hope you can keep aglow green images this winter.

Anonymous said...

Wow... it's posts like this that keep me coming back to your blog again and again. Thank you, friend!

Peace and blessings,

Don said...

Thank you, dear River Stone, for coming by. I always enjoy checking up on your posts, too.