Aaahh! Those joyous days of summer. Kids are out of school. Work deadlines seem fewer and farther between. Vacations are longer. And the weather is warm. All things to savor as summer’s final days approach. As I write this from the screened-in-porch of my home in upstate New York, I grow wistful, remembering the many sounds of summer—the best and the worst.
Here’s my list. Please share yours in the comments.
The Best Sounds of Summer
1. Leaves blowing in the breeze.
Sometimes wind noise can be bothersome, but the light breezes of summer are lovely. The visual aspect is beautiful too. As I watch the leaves twirl and sway, I wonder how much of the sound is in my mind’s ear versus reality. I enjoy it just the same.
2. The familiar jingle of the ice cream truck
Neighborhood kids come running whenever they hear the tinkling music of the ice-cream truck. It brings me back to my days as a child doing the same. Just like with Pavlov’s dogs, this time-tested tune brings on cravings for soft-serve with sprinkles.
3. Lightening bugs flashing
This one might not count because I’m not sure lightening bugs make a sound. But they should. My mind’s ear imagines a lightsaber buzzing each time I see the flash.
4. Tweeting birds
Up early in the summer, I enjoy the chorus of birds wishing me good morning. Occasionally an owl asks “who-cooks-for-you?” High pitch sounds are often the first to fade with hearing loss, putting the call of birds out of reach, but hearing aids can sometimes help us rediscover them.
5. Laughter shared with friends and family at an outdoor party
Summer is a time for socializing. Barbecues and other outdoor events are often easier for people with hearing loss—less background noise and more relaxed seating options. I take advantage as much as I can. Find my tips for enjoying a BBQ with hearing loss here.
The Worst Sounds of Summer
1. The loud and insistent din of cicadas
August brings the worst of summer, with the evening rush of cicadas wooing one another with sound. This insistent buzz blocks out almost everything else, including conversation. Sometimes I retire inside to get a break and to avoid triggering a bout of tinnitus.
2. Fireworks blasting
Fireworks are a traditional way to celebrate Fourth of July and other summer events, but I avoid them. The booming and banging are well above safe listening levels. If we partake, it is always from a great distance or with adequate hearing protection.
3. Outdoor lawn and construction work
Summer is the time to get long-term outside projects done, but the lawnmowers, leaf blowers, and jackhammering can all be too much. When the lawn mowing begins, I know it’s time to take respite indoors.
Happy summer everyone!
Readers, what are your most and least loved sounds of summer?
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6 thoughts on “The Best and Worst Sounds of Summer”
Best memory-triggering sounds:
(1) People splashing in a pool, particularly the big thundering “Ka-ploosh” of someone doing a cannonball in the diving area. Or the “Smack” of someone doing a belly-flop.
(2) The bugle calls at Summer Boy Scout Camp.
(3) Listening to the Top-40 on a transistor radio at the Shore.
Good ones! Thank you for sharing them.
THE WORST SOUNDS: Lawn maintanence equipment – specially leaf blowers. Barking dogs. Hovering helicopters. Loud talk in any close situation. Sirens. . BEST SOUNDS: Bird song of all kinds. Well, I might make an exception for that gaggle of crows out back, who, when they have a convention, make more noise than a Saturn rocket at lift off. Crickets and cicadas. Summer thunder storms and hard rain. Wind in the trees. The sound of ocean waves on a rocky beach. Conversation with intimate friends. That palpable quietness of an early summer’s morning.
Thank you for sharing your favorites (and least favorites).