I promised myself that I would add one of these stories here every time I told one. I tell them at one point or another throughout the summer. There will be no chronology - not yet anyway - nor will there be much of a schedule. You never know; I might add a story every day and I might not. This is my life. Every day is an adventure.


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Nature's Opera

There was coyote song on the air this morning, and it was so echoing and so varied that opera was the first thing that came to mind. Like opera on stage, it is sung in a different language, and unless you can speak Italian, there's no understanding the words and one must depend on the actors, the scenes and the costumes in order to understand the story, and of course, knowing what the story is ahead of time helps immensely. Unlike opera, rather than lasting a couple hours, coyote song is over in moments, leaving the air echoing emptily, leaving my ears searching for another note.

With coyote song, there's no knowing what the story is. There's no script to follow or look up online. Some say they are calling their brethren to the hunt, and some say they are calling to the kill. I've even heard they'll call in frustration as the quarry gets away. Whatever the reason, in my opinion, it is pure heartstrings.

Ever since our foot of brand new snow, I've been out early to fill my buckets. My thought was to have most of my buckets full of nice clean water, and when I have all but two or three full, I'll circulate the last of them until I run out of snow to collect. Last night it froze (it's 25F right now). I was outside, packing this crunchy snow into my buckets when I heard this soprano note climb and fall, echoing through the trees. There must have been half a dozen of them sounding off, imitating each other as if they were singing 'Row, Row, Row Your Boat'.

I wish I had more operatic terminology so I could make it clearer. Take my word for it, it was so pure and stunning it took me a moment to identify what I was hearing.

There are other opera singers out here. Unfortunately they seldom occupy the same stage at the same time. The lonely wolf cry, something I seldom get to hear, is the soloist tenor. The woodpecker, which I did hear this morning, is the percussion. Sometime next month maybe there will be swan song and goose song and maybe even some duck song. Before too much longer there will be the whip-o-will song back in the swamps, at least that's what I think they're called. I hear they are calling a mate, and I hear they are really quite comical about it. Unfortunately, I've never seen it.

So tell me, what sounds do you hear on a quiet morning when most of humanity is sleeping?


Roy Durham said...

i love to hear coyotes sing. elk and pika's, sandhill's, even a barn owl. and my dog brandy. thank you and god bless

Mattias Kroon said...

Interesting to read your describing of the symphonies in the nature and wilderness where you live, somewhat exotic.Very exciting!

Anna L. Walls said...

Thanks guys.

Debra said...

Anna, it was an aria. Yes?
I’m among the humanity sleeping while the wild is calling :)
But for a brief moment today I was in Alaska, hearing the concert of coyote, wolf, woodpecker…
Ever hear a mourning dove? That’s the lonely bird that sings haunting arias here.
Exquisite post filled with music.

Anna L. Walls said...

Thanks for stopping in for a visit, Debra. No, I've never had the pleasure of hearing a dove. *sigh*

Jim said...

My dog loves to howl , when the fire sirens go off, when that old country standard 'Cattle Call' is echoed through my workshop by Dwight Yokum or Emmylou Harris, and interestingly enough when certain songs from Tuva and Mongolia play. When I put those on my CD player, she howls in response.
Perhaps she is joining in for the sheer hell of it.

Anna L. Walls said...

hahaha - that's awesome, Jim. She is of course singing along. It's all music to her. haha - cute.

Care Burpee said...

What lovely writing! I found your blog when I googled other Alaskan bloggers. On my blog, I have awarded you The Stylish Blogger Award. If you are interested in passing it along or would just like to visit another Alaskan's blog, stop by my site.

bookspersonally said...

Sounds very lovely where you are!

Anna L. Walls said...

Thanks for stopping in for a visit, Care and Bookspsrsonally. Hope you come again.