Wednesday, July 22, 2009



The Orchestra

They are our artists in residence each summer, miniature virtuosos returning every year to serenade us in the darkness. One hears them tuning up at twilight, a discordant note here, a sawtoothed rasp there, as if they are arriving - some early, some late - from all parts of the woodland - flitting, flying, hopping, with tiny black-cased instruments held securely under their powdery arms. I imagine them getting comfortably situated in the elbows of the trees, atop the chalk white toadstools, or under the chartreuse hydrangea blossoms, readying themselves for their nightly performance in the velvet swelter of the black July air.

With a yellow moon as its maestro, this raucous orchestra plays at decibels disproportionate to its size, each greenly invisible cricket, cicada and tree-frog adding his own unique talent to the sonorous soundtrack performed with gusto from dusk till dawn. For the nut-brown chipmunk tucked up safe in his burrow, or the solemn row of grey flannel doves asleep on the crooked poplar branch, this cacophony is but a lullaby.
The whole of the silver garden hums along.

I open the window and lie back in my cool bed, listening - to Summer, to Memory, to the bewitching omnipresence of Nature - and not for the first time, I feel delightfully small, remarkably young; just a girl with so much yet to learn.

37 comments:

  1. perfectly evocative ... I'm there listening too xo S & Missy D

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  2. beautiful - I want a book of your word pictures :)

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  3. Sweet and magnificent. You paint with words so beautifully.

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  4. You have painted such an exquisite picture of a summer's night here Pamela - I have read it several times and would like to frame it.

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  5. It's time you wrote a book Pamela. Beautiful writing.

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  6. Before rain they all seem to prepare for a pop-concert it is so deafening.
    Another wonderfully evocative post.

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  7. What a marvelous metaphor for nature. I too feel like a girl with so much to learn.

    I tagged you, hope you like, you deserve it.

    x.

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  8. ..and in the dark the glow worms spuns their firework patterns in the air....
    thank you for such a wonderful post...I agree with everyoe else...you need to write a book....one we can dip in and out of..and somehow feel that our lives are all the richer for having done so....painting pictures in our imaginations is such a gift..bless you..xx

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  9. Summer seems to pass me by most years, particularly since I've lived in a city. Autumn however, grips me and doesn't let go.

    Beautiful post, and the painting is lovely.

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  10. I too love the sounds of summer.
    Beautiful post!

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  11. Hear, Hear! I vote for a book too! You just took me back to a time before air conditoner's mundane drone when I lived in a place where the night air was how we cooled the house.

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  12. If I close my eyes I'm there in your silver garden and I can hear your beautiful orchestra - thank you for this wonderful moment. Leigh

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  13. What a wonderful description of a Summer night with nature singing you to sleep.

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  14. Exquisite writing!

    "....with tiny black-cased instruments held securely under their powdery arms...."

    What a beautiful soliloqy to summer's headiness!

    I fell into your word art...and would buy a book from you in a skinny minute!

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  15. Each season has it's own night sounds. In the summer we listen to the loons and come fall the crickets, winter with the ice building on the lake and spring - the peepers. This is really beautifully Pamela-I do hear a book with your sweet words.

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  16. Oh, how absolutely wonderful, your words are so descriptive - I can hear every differing sound:) Thankyou!

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  17. We are being entertained by the French orchestral equivalent, xv.

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  18. Your words are always so enchanting.

    Last night I stood in the middle of our yard, just as the darkness was taking over. I thought I was listening to birds, but when I looked up I saw bats - soaring and dipping and diving and chirping with delight in the joy of their evening adventures.

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  19. What a lovely entry. Thank you so much.

    Aunt Amelia

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  20. I will listen to the orchestra in my own backyard tonight, and think of your lovely words.

    I took Ben on an early morning walk yesterday, and was amazed by the cacophony of sounds coming from my neighbors backyard. I could not identify it - and it was not pleasant and melodious as you describe your orchestra. When I saw my neighbor that evening, I inquired about the noise - it was crows! The roost every morning and every evening in the bamboo thicket behind my neighbor's house.

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  21. What an amazing and charming blog, I am totally enchanted!

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  22. This was beautiful. Thank you.

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  23. What visual imagery you evoke! That is one thing I've missed being in the suburban PNW - it is much quieter at night. There aren't even crickets in my area, much less cicadas... :-(

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  24. Really beautiful, Pamela. I'll do my best to be less annoyed (and a little bit creeped out) by the crickets after reading this! On these warm summer nights, their "performance" can fill the whole house!

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  25. Oh what a beautiful post Pamela. It's quite quiet here at night but I remember in St Lucia the frogs were deafening. Love to Edward from Buster.

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  26. What a wonderful description of perfect relaxation you have given us Pamela.It is almost as if we were there...

    Love that tree bed too. What bliss for a tree lover.

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  27. Oh - how I've missed your blog!!! It's been over a year since I've done much blogging, and I am so glad to have found you again!! What wonderful posts!!!

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  28. A beautiful painting and words to go along. I can feel the cool air and listen to natures sounds as things wind down for an evening of peace.

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  29. Yes, we miss that amazing night chorus in the city.
    How beautifully you write about it.

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  30. Oh to lie in that bed with that view and have you repeat this....
    FABULOUS!

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  31. When my husband first lived in the US, he didn’t believe that the sound of cicadas could be made by insects or any living creature. Frog song still amazes me. This is a post I will have to revisit on a cold winter day when I’m longing for summer. You capture it so well. Ah, these summer nights....

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  32. Oh what perfect dreams and images for a summer night.

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  33. beautiful! i can almost hear those sweet sounds. for me lying in the early morn listening to the waking & tuning up of our own wee orchestra takes me back to my own childhood days, and i love to snuggle under the duvet & listen a while longer. ( though to mr o's musicians ears, the odd "bum" note sets him off ;-)

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  34. Beautifully written as usual and tht bed is certianly interesting.

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  35. Oh most wonderful wonderful!

    We live on a spit of land between the sea and a marsh which is a protected bird sanctuary. I have a particular interest in bird lore and auspicy, but I'm ashamed I don't know more about ornithology! It' on my list of things I would love to do this year... sigh.

    This post goes straight to my heart, the same reminder I get when I lie in bed on a summer's night and listen to them sing their little heart's out all through the short night.

    Thank you!

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  36. That painting is just gorgeous. Incredible, thank you.

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