Regular Life

Regular Life

In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on. – Robert Frost

Sounds of a Workday Done

The first thing I hear when I leave work is a battle between a cicada and a mockingbird. I don’t mean the bird’s trying to eat the cicada, although it no doubt would make a tasty treat. Instead, they’re competing for sonic superiority.

Headphones or earbuds will put you right in the middle of this one.

Press the play button to go there.

(If the integrated player doesn’t work, then download the file here.)

The 17-year cicada, with its buzzing drone, bombards my left ear. He has started before any of his brethren have bothered to warm up their tymbals.

The mockingbird, meanwhile, is in my right ear doing just what his name suggests; he spews forth a nonstop flurry of tweets and tweedles in imitation of other feathered wingsters. He holds his head up high and sets his long tail at a confident attitude. Mockingbirds are notoriously defensive of what they perceive as their territory, and have been known to attack people.

“People” being my late grandmother, in her own garden.

The road noise to the right is an Interstate highway with four lanes of traffic moving south and the same headed north. Southbound isn’t as busy because that’s back toward the city.

A couple of co-workers chat each other up, and a few cars rumble to life, ready to carry their owners back to their personal lives.

I try to get directly between the mockingbird and the cicada, but the cicada spooks and clams up. Another bird calls from the trees flanking the nearby railroad tracks.

Every day these sounds tell me I’ve made it through another day of work, and I can get on my way to my family.

In winter, all I get is the highway. Oh, and the family.

Want to read more about cicadas? See the cicada fan page I found when I conducted my obligatory three seconds of research.

8 Responses to Sounds of a Workday Done

  1. Wow… great sound quality!

    Makes me think of waking up at 4:30am hearing all the birds in our backyard when we leave the windows open! *chuckling*

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  2. I got to hit play and then read the rest of the post with the sound accompaniment. That was way cooler than I thought it was going to be. (No headphones, so the binaural-ness eluded me, but still cool.)

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  3. Dave – Just my little Olympus DS-20 and my Core Low Cost Binaural Microphones.

    Record your backyard sound and share.

    Simon – Looks like you and Dave are the only ones who realized it wasn’t as boring as it seemed.

    We’re going out tonight, and I fully expect SOMEONE else to listen to this and tell me how amazingly exciting it is.

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  4. Sounds are cool. Amanda had a Mockingbird take some swoops at her at her sister’s house the other day. It was hilarious. It actually bounced off her arm twice while she was talking on the cell phone to her parents. I wish I would have had the video camera.

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  5. That’s actually quite peaceful; lucky you.

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  6. Sorry I didn’t comment yesterday. It wasn’t that I thought it would be boring…I just didn’t have speaker on the computer I was working on. But now, having listened….it was very cool.

    I spent a bit of time yesterday really listening to the sounds I heard as I walked aroun dmy work. The way my shoes sound different in different sections of the building. the way the sound changes from big rooms to small rooms. So…even though I didn’t get to listen to it…it had an impact on my day.

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  7. Charles – I wish I could have seen that.

    Jay – It would be a real kick for you to hide a recorder somewhere on you and capture some of those creeps who try to pick you up during your walks.

    MG – It would be a real kick for you to hid a recorder somewhere on you and capture some of those creeps who try to pick you up during your walks. ;-)

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  8. Mark, that was very, very cool. Thanks. :-)

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