Monday 20 July 2009

The Sound of Summer

The hour-long walk from work to home is something I have mentioned on here before, for instance in this entry I wrote back in May:

Today was one of the rare finer days we have had this month.
Overall, July was way too wet, and sometimes too cold, for my liking (and not only mine).
So, every chance I get, I am out there, enjoying the time and space I have almost entirely to myself between leaving work and arriving home.

As soon as I reach the edge of the fields, the sound changes.
Instead of cars, trains and people, all of a sudden, the sonic world seems to consist of the dominating sound made by the omnipresent cricket.

It is the main thread for the acoustic carpet covering those fields, and it has a pretty pattern weaved in, of lark song and softly rustling leaves in the hedges and the less soft rustling of the stems of wheat and rye alongside the whispering of the dark green maize leaves.
Every now and then, it is punctuated by the call of a buzzard, or the barking of a dog far away.

Have you ever listened to - really listened to - the Summer-part of Antonio Vivaldi's much-abused "Four Seasons"?
If you have, you have heard the crickets, providing the sonic canvas for the image of an exhausted and dusty landscape, breathing heavily under a merciless sun, until its power is temporarily broken by a mighty thunderstorm.

Such is, for me, the sound of summer.

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