Monday, February 21, 2011

The Sound of Spring

The fish pond has been one of my favorite garden features.  Sweet little fish that come swimming up, mouths open, eager, and always thrilled to be fed, are some of the simplest joys in the garden.  During the winter months, all that ceases.  Sometimes encased under a layer of ice, they lay motionless on the bottom of the pond, silent, still, as though even time itself has slowed.

The fish pond last year
The pond's pump is unplugged during winter so it won't freeze.  Yesterday, though, all that changed.  The water in the fish pond finally warmed enough for the fish to come back to life.  They remember the cue I have for their feedings:  a swift sequence of knocks on the side.  Back to swimming up with their little mouths open, it brought a smile to my face.  Then, Mr. Holleygarden did something wonderful.  Magical.  Almost spectacular.  He started the pump.

Suddenly I realized how much I had missed the sound of the water splashing in the fountain.  This, to me, is the ultimate sound of spring, though there are many.

Birds, of course, are quite vocal in the coming of spring.  The individual sounds of mating, building nests, and their calls of warning, are all fascinating.  The quacking of geese in their wiggly, irregular V as they fly north on their long journey is a welcome sound to any southern garden.  So, too, is the buzzing of the bees.  The clicking of the hummingbirds as they fight over abundant nectar is humorous.  But the funniest thing about the hummingbirds is how they know where that nectar comes from.  When low, they will fly close enough to peer in the windows as if to say "Hey, you in there! Come fill up the feeders!  You're falling down on the job!".  In their mind, we are obviously their servants.

There is a creek below the house.  We will sometimes walk to it as quietly and silently as possible.  We do this in order to hear the hundreds - possibly thousands - of frogs that carry on their numerous conversations until we are detected.  At that moment, they all fall silent.  It is humorous to us and we wonder what kind of conversations we are missing.

One last sound of spring could be the hissing of snakes coming out of their hibernation.  Usually not heard by me, but obviously identified immediately by the cats, because we had the gift of a silenced snake on the doormat this morning.  So sweet, I suppose, in cat language.  I'm just thankful their gift was already dead!

I hadn't thought of the silence of winter until the sounds of spring began to register.  What sound signifies the coming of spring to you?


  1. I have a koi pond and the fishes are just beginning to stir. We had some very warm days this past weekend and they came up for some spring/fall chow. I love visiting my guys and it is the first thing I do when I come home from work. Your pool is very lovely.

  2. lifeshighway - yes, fish are addicting. So calming to watch. Once you have a pond, it's hard to imagine a garden without them.

  3. Holley I think I blogged about this very topic and you know the birds are a key sound for me...our pond's pump will be silent for at least 2 months more but I know what you mean about missing the sound of the water...and the frogs...such a wonderful cacophony of noises that are so sweet...lovely post and blog...

  4. Donna - thank you. I will have to look up your post. I was amazed how much I had missed the sound of the fountain. Like an old friend's voice.

  5. I really enjoyed reading this post about sounds of spring! I miss buzz of the bees!

  6. Great post! I blogged about the smell of spring a few days ago - we must have spring on the brain!

    The sound of a soft breeze rustling my curtains when our windows can (finally!) be open is what spring sounds like to me. It's such a gentle sound, and so different from the winds of winter.

    And your pond is very sweet. I hope to tackle a pond project someday when my kids are bigger!

  7. Yes I think I blogged about those sounds tooa few days Musical Outdoor! Its truly therupathic to hear the sound of water splasing or running from your water feature, the reason why we have it in our garden. Spring is finally here! Looking forward to see your garden and roses!

  8. tanyasgarden - I miss them, too. They'll be back soon!

    Kelli - thank you. I really enjoy it.

    Hanni - The gentle sound of rustling curtains! What a great sound! Ponds are great features, but they could be dangerous. I probably would only have a pondless fountain if I had small ones around.

    P3chandan - Spring is really on gardeners minds right now! Water has such a hypnotic, melodic sound. I'm anxious for my roses to start blooming so I can blog about them. It won't be long now.

  9. I only saw this now and I love your pond! I always say that a pond/water feature completes a garden :)

  10. Mark and Gaz - thank you! I agree - I love ponds and water features and think almost all gardens could use one of those. They add a bit of movement to the garden. Thanks for commenting.


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