This should probably be titled "The Sounds of our Yard" because that is the pretty much I have seen and heard so far. Everyplace has a different sound to it. Texas sounded of mockingbirds, doves, children playing and the muted drone of traffic in the distance. Jakarta sounded of traffic, car horns, scratchy brooms sweeping, and kaki lima drivers calling to attract business. Frankfurt sounded of the maintenance crews working, people walking, the baby downstairs crying, and the couple that always stopped by our window to talk on the way home from the bar every flipping weekend. Malawi is totally different.
Our yard is big enough that there is a strange feeling of living out in the country rather than in a city of half a million. We have a fair amount of wildlife running around the yard, mostly birds, frogs, and lizards. So far no monkeys or snakes, thank goodness! You might think this sounds peaceful. You would be wrong. It is loud! In strange way it's louder than the traffic, louder than the baby crying, almost louder than the couple on the way home from the bar.
The birds wake us up at first light just before six by sitting outside our window singing "twee twee TWEET twee twee TWEET twee...." apparently this bird doesn't need to breathe because he can keep singing without a break for more than 30 minutes. I don't know which bird sings this song but I wonder if it is big enough to bake into a pot pie. The big pied crows make loud cawing sounds as they fly over. There are loads of small colorful birds that twitter and chirp all day as they flit through the trees. Oh and we can't forget that one of the neighbors has a rooster that cock-a-doodle-doos in the morning. No we will not be getting a rooster, one on the neighborhood is plenty!
The lizards are blessedly quiet except for the peeping that geckos make, but that is pretty easy to ignore. The frogs on the other hand are loud loud loud. I am pretty sure that the Budweiser frogs have retired to my backyard pond and brought all their friends and relatives with them. If you think about that old commercial where the frogs are sitting on a log croaking BUD-WEIS-ER then you have a pretty good idea of what the frogs sound like. Except that there are dozens of frogs out there not just three. And trust me they are all looking for their Bud. There is also a higher pitch sound that could be some sort of bug or maybe little tree frogs. It doesn't matter though, the big frogs are enough to keep us awake.
There is one more sound that surrounds us on a daily basis. Just after dark the dogs start barking. I don't mean one or two dogs I mean it sounds like there are kennels full of dogs all barking. At first I thought that one of our neighbors had WAY too many dogs, but Friday we came home after dark and there were packs of mangy looking dogs roaming up and down the streets outside the walls that surround all the houses. They are scary enough that I will not be walking anywhere outside our walls after dark! I do kinda of wonder where they go during the daytime. Hmmm....
You might be thinking about now that we should just close the windows and turn the air conditioner up to drown out the noise. The are two problems with that idea. First it is still in the 50's at night so the air conditioner is out. The bigger problem is that the windows don't really close. We have old louvered windows like you might see on a original mid-century house. Really these things should never be used for anything but a screened porch, never never never for your windows in your bedroom. There is no way to get a good seal to stop drafts and sounds and wonderful stench of smoke from coming right into the house.
I wish I could show a picture of the windows or of the birds and frogs but I can't upload pictures during the day (the internet is too slow) I will try to get some pictures of the windows and the yard up for Wordless Wednesday tomorrow.