Birds are chirping; brooks are gurgling. The breeze rustles the trees. It’s summer.
I hear a noise in the woods and I stop, hoping it’s a bear and then, hoping it’s not a bear. It never is. Occasionally a deer jumps into view and stands still and staring at me with a startled expression on its face. They always seem so surprised to see me. Like a deer in the headlights.
A bird has built a nest on the motion-detector light on our front porch. From our point of view, it doesn’t seem to be the most tranquil spot but this is the fourth year in a row that that particular bird family has chosen it for its summer vacation. Usually by this time we’re hosting our second crop of baby birds. We wonder if it’s the same birds each year, or are they relatives of those who first started nesting there. Did an earlier family tell their friends about the nest with a free light show?
I love the sounds of summer. Well, most of them. I love the peepers that quiet down as I approach their pond. It’s almost like they are holding their breath until I pass by.
A few wayward geese make themselves heard. It’s usually just two or three and I get the feeling from their frantic squawks that they got separated from the flock and are a little panicky. A chattering chipmunk, or maybe it’s a squirrel, provides a soothing summer background.
One sound, however, makes me curse the warm, balmy nights that I had so longed for back in January. It occurs shortly after I turn out the light at bedtime. It’s the mosquito. Eeeeeeeeeeeeee! I flail wildly; I swat at the air. I hold still, hoping for a sighting. But there is none. Eeeeeeeeeeeee! I lie under the covers, and hear nothing. I peek my head out and all is quiet. Then I hear them, right out of “The Bridges of Toko-Ri,” they come, “Eeeeeeeeeeeeeee! and then they disappear into the night to refresh themselves for another bombing raid scheduled for as soon as I fall back asleep.
Once when we were camping. The mosquitoes followed us into our tent and lay waiting for us to settle down. Then, in the middle of the night, attack! To add to the fun my husband blasted me full in the face with Deep Woods Off in an effort to let them know how unwelcome they were. They huddled in a corner, laughing their nasty little mosquito laugh, “Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!”
The miserable creatures even follow me on my walks and that can offer an element of real danger. At one time I carried four-pound hand weights to give my workout a little more oomph. The mosquitoes happily accompanied me and flew in circles around my head as I strode along. I took a swipe at one, forgetting about the weights and clunked my skull while the flying menaces whined with glee. Eeeeeeeeeeeee.
But when it comes down to choosing between bug bites and frost bite, I’ll enjoy the sounds of June while they last.