A low-pitched future

Our new climate, the paper says, will silence many songbirds. In a lifetime or two, all we’ll hear are hawks and crows. Crows and hawks are all I heard, anyway, having lost my high-frequency hearing long ago to rock and roll. Though it may have been the rifle range at summer camp. Or, a decade later, the hard enterprise of my hometown’s shipyard.

It’s a strong habit, not hearing, and my new hearing aids alone are not enough. My audiologist says I’ll catch myself saying, “What?” when a moment’s reflection might have allowed my brain to process sounds into comprehension.

What does it all mean? The leaves now rustle. The house settles and my knees creak. A scarlet tanager sings from a wood’s high catafalque.

3PictureScarletTanager

Photo of a dead scarlet tanager from USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab. Used by permission.

Snowy egret

While we were biking in Assateague Island’s woods, my friend pointed out an indigo bunting. We also saw lots of willets among the sandpipers and gulls when we got off our bikes and walked a stretch of quiet ocean beach.

My friend and his wife got me more interested in birds. I resurrected my bird apps and bought my first bird book. Hearing and identifying bird songs intrigues me more than identifying birds by sight. I’m glad the apps and the book include snatches of song and other sounds made by many of the more common birds.

We also saw lots of snowy egrets. I didn’t have my camera along, so I’ve included a shot I took earlier this year.

3PictureSnowyEgret