I meander through the meadow listening to the symphony of nature from the waterfalls in the distance to the animals nearby. Each group of animals has its own tenor and velocity of projecting sound. All of these sounds change based upon the season and intent.
The wild turkeys are in abundance during the spring, scouring the ground for grass and insects to feed their ever expanding bellies. The hens in the spring are targeted by the Tom turkeys as they perform a ritual dance. We’ve seen the males fight for their right to party. Usually two on two males jumping in the air fighting each other like Kamikaze pilots diving in for the kill or at least the recognized supremacy of the flock. Clawing and biting are the methods of choice to secure dominance.
Their sounds vary from the classic “Gobble-Gobble” to the siren mating call designed to attract the female and ward off the other males. The males strut as the female crouches to select the gobbler for matting. The beauty of these turkeys cannot be overstated as the Tom turkey fans its colorful tail as part of the matting ritual.
The deer are another group that has their own primal/guttural sound. If you are too close to the deer they grunt as a warning to back off. They will also stomp their hooves attempting to add another layer of deterrent to the space they occupy.
The most handsome group of all are the Elk. Enormous grand creatures that display two shades of brown. There is the dark brown around their neck and the lighter brown on their head and lower body. They are slow and cautious animals when grazing in the meadow during the spring. However, in the months to come, August through the end of October its game on. That is their matting season when they buggle to attrack the female.
The “Rut” relating to the Elk is very intricate. It’s a complicated dance with five different sequences that involves beauty and savagery all in one long vigorous dominate display. The bugle and the rubbing of trees is meant to attrack the females (the cows) as memorable and haunting as the howls of wolves and the calls of loons.
For the base of this cacophony of sound are the frogs. They sound off at night and sometimes during the day registering a beautiful base line to the baritone and tenor sections provided by the other inhabitants of the forest. As you approach their domicile an eerie silence prevails looking but not voicing their displeasure of any trespassers they may deem as a threat.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the birds of the Panhandle of Northern Idaho. From the Finch, Sparrow, Swallow, Canadian Goose, Mourning dove, Wood Pecker, Hawk, and Eagle the birds fill up the sky with sounds that add a wonderful beauty to the pastoral scene.
Ground level to the rich blue sky… the sound of nature envelopes everything in sight and beyond. It’s like a frame from a movie that begins with the visual, the smells, and then morphs into a symphony of light and song that floats like the breeze.
From the fog in the morning (maybe even snow) changing quickly to the richest azul sky dotted with clouds as thick as marshmellows and as light as cotton balls the sequence never remains the same. Each animal, bird, cloud, and weather pattern is constantly evolving into a picture we will never forget.