Ran like I was in a dream this morning, forgetting about my feet, not noticing the usual transitions between asphalt, concrete and trail. It was all about the birds singing. Names being of limited use to convey experience here, but if it helps you to to imagine the sounds I heard coursing along the treetops and piping out of the thickets, I can say there were sparrows, robins, chickadees, crows, woodpeckers, and seagulls, among others. I try to pay attention to the sights along my route, but the sounds took over this time. As usual, I wondered how I could give my students a taste. Play recordings? Ask them, after some time immersed in sounds–eyes closed–do they recognize them? Have they heard them before? Maybe I could give them three different soundscapes and see if hey could identify the local one. How, if they had to, would they describe each song with words? I could give them a numbered list with how the ornithologists have attempted, and see if they can match these to what they hear. Talk about pitch, tone, rhythm, phrasing, all without language or music as we understand it. I want to get them out there on the trail at 6:30 am to see what I mean.
Shree-sherra, CAW-CAW, fweet-fweet, keeee-kew, beep beep!