29 September 2007

Simple sounds

I never tire of the simple sounds of my home and garden. I suppose noise is that sound most people don't want to hear, but I welcome most of that too. But not television. In fact, television noise was what triggered this post. Hanno was watching something on ABC 2 that was repeated from last night. He then went outside, leaving the TV on. grrrrrrrrrr! Don't you hate that! I went in and turned it off, then immediately heard the sound of a Sacred Kingfisher as it was flying past. Noise can sometimes mask sounds.

At this very moment, I can hear the sound of my washing machine spinning through its last cycle; I can hear geese honking on the pond; there is a chook clucking after laying an egg. Hanno is outside tidying up the edges of the lawn, I hear the clink of the steel spade against the edge of the path. Airedale Alice is inside and when she walks up to me, I hear her claws on the wooden floors; they sound like tap shoes.

Pee Wees are calling, a train goes by in the distance, the phone rings. It's Kerry, he's not well and he always has to tell his mum when he's sick. He has a virus. I listen to him as he tells me about his new girlfriend - a Korean girl called Kai Lin (I hope that spelling is close). We end our conversation with me telling him to look after himself and to drink plenty of water, and him telling me not to worry.

But I do.

A car drives in, it's Jens, my step son, coming to borrow the trailer for a trip to the rubbish dump. I hear him and Hanno talking about the football. Apparently there is the grand final of something on today. Yawn.

Silence, I hear the soft buzzing of my computer. Rosie barks, and the kingfisher flies past again with the mad screech that sounds like the music from Psycho. I can't work out why a tiny bird with such a lovely name and blue feathers, would sound like that. Another of nature's wonders.

I can tell the time with the sounds around here. In the morning I hear the children going to school and know it's 8.30ish, they mark my time again when they return home at three. The postman comes on his bike at 10.30, our next door neighbours return from work at 5. It's a gentle way to tell the time and as I never wear a watch now (I gave them all away when I stopped working) and rarely look at a clock, these simple sounds keep me on track through out my day.

King parrots are calling - I see three of them, they're about to eat some pigeon peas and peaches in our garden. That's ok, I'm happy to share as I know a lot of their habitat has been taken. Their sounds bring Hanno back into the yard again and he yells out, "Rhonda! king parrots in the back yard!" I pretend I don't know they're there and take my camera out to take a photo.
There are two king parrots in this photo. See if you can find them. 

Click as I plug in the cable connecting the camera to the computer, click, click click. Photos are in the computer. Resize, tap tap. And I finish typing this. These tappings are the sounds that connect me to you - these are sounds I like.
He's started the lawn mower. Ack. I smell biscuits cooking. Time to hear the kettle boil and to experience the sound of crunching into a walnut biscuit.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Thank you for sharing your day with me.


  1. Once again Rhonda you made me think! Right now I can hear the tapping of the keys as i type this message toyou, the whirring of my computers fan and the distinctive sound of my son kicking his soccer ball in the back yard. Off to bake as well after we have gone birthday present shopping!

  2. What a fabulous post. I felt as if I was there with you! Unfortunately, as I type the background noise is the TV...probably that same soccer match your step son and dh were discussing!

  3. I too enjoy the sounds of the day. We don't have a lot of birds around anymore as winter is coming on quickly. I can also tell the time of day by some of the familiar noises that are heard each day... the school bells that ring in the morning at lunch and after school, the sound of the recycling truck coming by, the neighbour coming home from work, etc. People have asked me how I can stand working at home in the silence, but really it isn't silent at all! There is so much to hear when you turn off the distractions.

  4. What fun to listen along with you :) I am adding another item to the list of things that I enjoy about you, Rhonda Jean, that you gave away your watches... marvelous! Have a wonderful wknd. Love, Q

  5. click of the keys, distant voices of the Bangladeshi neighbours climbing inside a van with much ado. Its Ramadan at the moment so I wonder whether it's a visit to some community gathering. Noise of beer bottles dropping into the recycling bin of the 'Aussie battler' neighbours. A whiff of cigarette smoke (yuk )from the old, lonely man in the house behind. Birds chirping, magpies playing, clicking of keys..Love your post Rhonda :)

  6. Rhonda- lovely post and wow-you have parrots! I felt like I was there listening with you. I sometimes go out to the patio and listen to the coyotes howl and watch the burrowing owls and night hawks come out. Everyone thinks the desert is quiet and dead, but it is actually full of life-you just have to be quiet and listen! Sharon

  7. Hi Rhonda - I think that the King Parrots are my favourite - they are so sweet and make such a lovely sounds. They visit regularly in our garden too.

    Sounds here are lots of birds - parrots, peewees, sparrows, chookies and ducks and LOTS of WIND blowing through the trees and creaking the house. It is very windy here in ONC.


  8. yes the sound of silence is bliss.. i don't know how alot of the youngers... have there music in there ears while doing every task from exercise to eating , love your posts happy day margie

  9. Rhonda good post!...noise and TV?...if i could do so i'll take the tv out of our house :)... i'm not fond of. I rather have the house quiet and lucky you that can even have birds wild out - beautiful parrot pic -.

  10. Rhonda,

    What a wonderful post! You live in such a beautiful place. I can't amagine having birds like those in my yard. WoW! I am a listener. I love to sit an listen, to my children talking to each other, the birds, the water running in our creek. I am so thankful that I found your blog:)


    From Ky

  11. My husband was an only child, so when he got home to an empty house after school he would pop on the TV so he wouldn't feel lonely. How sad is that?! I, however, am the youngest of many and I LONGED for peace and quiet. My Mum used to have the radio blaring in three different rooms, sometimes on three different channels. It was agony for a child who was quiet and internalized way too much.

    So, now my hubby as an adult cannot be in the house without the blasted TV on. I retreat to the upstairs. We did, however, take the TV out of our bedroom. He does agree that was a great decision... he is slowly discovering the peace of peace!

    Sometimes my young daughter will say to me, "Mommy, can I turn off the TV and just have peace?" Like mother, like daughter.

    In the age of noise, chatter, machines, information... there certainly is not much communicating going on. I actually daydream about living in a small, cozy home in the country and sitting by candlelight telling stories and listening to the crickets and frogs.

  12. I love this post. I am reminded of John Cage's 4'33" of silence...but not silence, just time in which to recognize all the sounds that are around you anyway. When I was a teacher, I developed a pattern of asking my students to take a full minute (a minute by the clock can feel really long!) just to sit in silence before we got started for the period. So many of them expressed how much they loved it. One girl in particular said something along the lines of, "nobody ever gives us a chance to just sit still and do nothing - we're always supposed to be rushing around and busy. thank you!" Anyway, thanks for bringing up such lovely mental images, and for reminding me to sit and listen, too.

  13. hello everyone. I don't often take the time to write "properly", or from the heart, but when I do, like this piece, I love it when it's appreciated. Thank you.

  14. Just finishing catching up from the weekend. I managed to stay away from the computer for the whole weekend. Loved this post. It was so thought provoking. I'm at work so the noise is just that NOISE. I will sit in the garden tonight and just listen while I have my cup of tea after work.

    Thanks for yet another wonderful thought provoking post.



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