Creature Feature

Creature Feature – Listen for Winter’s Voice

Posted by  //  February 21, 2022  //  Articles, Creature Feature

Helen Keller once wrote that it wasn’t the loss of her sight that she lamented the most, but that of her hearing.  Winter, so often visually monochromatic, offers instead a vibrant soliloquy to those who listen for its voice.

During those magical heavy snowfalls with no wind, Winter wraps its voice in a plush blanket.  A dog barking, the scrape of a snow shovel, a car driving past… all sounds are muffled; and as the fat snowflakes drift down, Winter breathes, “Hush.”

On clear, bitterly cold days, Winter’s voice is sharply defined.  Hear it in the styrofoam-squeak of snow underfoot or the clean hiss of skate blades cutting into the ice.  The clarion calls of winter birds wing through the frigid air, “Chickadee-dee-dee!” “Caw-caw-caw!”

And when the Winter wind blusters and howls, think about the ancient tale of Boreas, the North Wind.  Boreas loved a beautiful nymph name Pitys, who was later turned into a pine tree.  Boreas roars as he tears through the limbs of the maples and oaks searching for Pitys — but when he finds his love in the pine, he whispers and sighs.

You can even listen for Winter’s concert in the moonlight: the soft hoots of a great horned owl, a chorus of coyotes and the eerily beautiful, whale-song moans of changing lake ice.  

Open your ears and listen, for Winter will soon be gone.

Margie Manthey

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