Listen to the outdoor sounds of the season

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A few weekends ago, I took my 4-year old son tent camping for the first time.  

It was in our backyard, but I wanted to make sure he would be comfortable with the new sounds and temporary sleeping arrangements. Before we embarked on our journey into the night, I explained to him the different things he might hear outside. We have two dogs outside, so of course we would hear them, but we might also hear other sounds. He asked, “what kinds of sounds will there be?” I had to pause for a second, because come to think of it, sounds of the fall are a little different from sounds of the summer.  

In the summer, we might hear crickets chirping, owls hooting, hummingbirds buzzing, and cicadas humming. But what happens when the weather changes? What can we hear outside at night during the fall and winter months? As I sat in our tent listening, I could hear leaves crunching as the dogs ran around.  I could hear the breeze moving dead leaves around or off of tree branches. I could hear the eerie call of the coyote (before my dogs joined in and drowned it out) and raccoons chattering at each other in the trees. I’m sure there were other things out there that were too soft for me to hear, but it got me thinking about what happens in nature as the seasons change.  

Are you a tent camper? Maybe next time you lay awake at night outside, pay attention to the noises you hear. Are there animal or people noises? Are they natural or man-made sounds? 

Even if you aren’t an avid camper, go outside after dark and take a listen. What do you hear? You might be surprised at the orchestra of sounds that nature provides.

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