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.




About Eugene Jones Baldwin

I am a writer: non-fiction, fiction, journalism (Alton Telegraph), essays (The Genehouse Chronicles) and have a website: I've published a couple dozen short stories and had eleven plays produced. Current projects: "Brother of the Stones" (available on Kindle), a book of short stories; "The Faithful Husband of the Rain, short stories"; "A Black Soldier's Letters Home, WWII,;" "There is No Color in Justice," a commentary on racism; "Ratkillers," a new play. I am an avocational archaeologist and I take parts of my collection of several thousand Indian artifacts (personal finds) to schools, nature centers, libraries etc. and talk about the 20,000 year history of The First people in Illinois. (See link to website) I'm also a playwright (eleven plays produced), musician, historian (authority on the Underground Railroad in Illinois, the Tuskegee Airmen) and teacher.
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