A piliated woodpecker jackhammers at a dead tree. No amount of explanation, of how the bird does this without killing itself or smashing its skull, will suffice. And there is the visual, the model for Woody Woodpecker, the bright red head, and the signature rat-a-tat call.

Comes a “tock-tock-tock,” the communal warning sound of a tribe of chipmunks, a seventy-million-year-old species which tunnels the woods with thirty-foot caves.

The gentle riffle of the water down, about to become bigger than itself at the river, this atomic water signature of Illinois about to be seen or sailed on or fingerpainted by picnickers in Tennessee, the bits of water calling out their homes: Minnesconsinhissouriois thy rivers gently flowing.

The windmill sound of honeybees working the first low wildflowers, their paths making the ground seem like it’s moving.

And a lone bullfrog testing its mating voice, and only a female frog gets the jazzy croak. It sounds like a grandpa snore-napping under heavy blankets, and you’re embarrassed because your friends are over.




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