From whence I learned

Living in the Pacific Northwest, or rather the, RURAL Pacific Northwest taught me how to pay attention to nature.

From living on Vashon I (we) learned how to pay attention to all that was around us.  We learned the identification of all the trees on our acre, we learned which of the underbrush was an invasive species and which was not, we learned to examine different kinds of scat and prints.  We learned the names of the birds around us and what they said about the time of the year and the snow on the mountains.  My kids know more about beach animals then I ever will and are constantly teaching me things.

Maybe is the largess of the West that teaches you to pay attention. I think, rather, it was the novelty of not knowing anything.  I am currently in my childhood home, a 2 week stay before we move to our new city Indianapolis.  Though I have visited a lot in the past 15 years or so I have not paid attention with my pacific northwest ears and eyes.

Maybe it was the kids asking, "what is that sound?" when they heard a locust.
Or maybe it was the gross shock of finding japanese beetles in the pool.
Whatever the source though they made something in me wake up.

Today I spent time online learning to distinguish the sounds of the Katydid, Locust, and Cicada. I realized that the sound of humidity is actually blackbirds though when I heard them I thought, "oh it sounds humid" only to question that part of myself and realize that humidity has no actual sound...

What is drawing me in is actually the sounds of this place.  I think because summer is so shockingly loud here.  Whereas in our old home we could hear the footsteps of deer, here we can barely hear ourselves think when the bugs are out...

I am eager to learn the names of more trees (bought a book!).
I am hoping to identify all kind of new things that have been ordinary for all of my life.

Being away from the midwest taught me to be curious. Now I will bring that curiosity with me.


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