Whenever I hear it, nyank nyank nyank, my world lights up just a little bit more, because I know there are nuthatches around. I adore nuthatches. If it weren’t for all the other cute birds, they’d have the cute franchise sewn up. Red-breasted nuthatches aren’t at all uncommon but it wasn’t until a couple years ago that I saw or heard them with any regularity at my house. That first year I heard lots of them. We even hosted a couple in our birdhouse, when they aced out our chickadees Marge and Studley Windowson, who were still measuring for the piano when the nuthatches bombed in with first-and-last and the security deposit. It didn’t work out well for the nuthatches, though. Their tenancy turned out to be a complete disaster and the Missus wasn’t even speaking to her mate when she flew off for the last time. This year I haven’t seen any nuthatches at all, here. I’ve assumed the whole place brings up bad memories for them, and I’m sad about that.
Interesting fact: Dave can’t hear nuthatches. Whenever we’re walking and I point them out, he looks baffled. Even when I imitate them and point in their direction he can’t hear them, or me. Apparently they beep in a very narrow frequency range and he doesn’t have the bandwidth for it. My voice is in the same range. A lot of the time he can’t hear me either. Apparently.
On the other hand, I can’t hear the dog that drives him nuts. Our neighbor has a dog that she lets out into the back yard to deliver updates to the neighborhood. Everything the dog has to say he says in the first five seconds, but he’s real thorough, in case anyone passing through a half-hour later has missed the first bulletin. It’s not really that I can’t hear him as much as I tune him out. He has a low voice, like Dave, whom I also don’t always hear. Apparently. Probably I don’t hear the dog because I get a lot of sleep and I’m thinking about other things.
I’m sure this annoys Dave though. It’s pretty annoying when something is driving you nuts but your partner is all “what-ever” and smiling like the freaking Buddha. It makes you feel small and petty. I’m not sure why the Buddha didn’t get his ass handed to him more often than he did.
Some of the time the dog is barking, I’m thinking about something I’m writing, or want to write. Sometimes there’s almost nothing going on in my head. Sometimes I’m thinking about how I feel pretty good, which means I might have ovarian cancer, which often presents with no symptoms. Sometimes I’m just thinking about how nice and quiet it is.
“Haven’t heard the dog barking in a while,” I might say, at the risk of irritating Dave, if in fact the dog had been barking up a storm and I hadn’t noticed.
Dave’s head pops up, ready to refute, and then his face relaxes. “I don’t hear anything,” he marvels.
Yay! The nuthatches must be back!
I think women are better at blocking extraneous noises. My poor husband hears everything, well, except for high pitched sounds.
I'm not sure I'm blocking them. They might be passing right through with little resistance.
I have some high frequency hearing loss so I don't hear some birds. I can see their little beaks flapping, but nothing is coming out that I hear. I CAN hear nuthatches, though. Their beep, beep, beep reminds me of a high pitched cartoon road runner.
Bet those foghorns don't get by you.
There is a tv ad for some drug that states that the first symptom of a stroke IS a stroke. A lot like that ovarian cancer.
We have two kinds of nuthatches here and they are fun to watch—they go down trees head first.
They just don't know which way is up.
It was an eerie feeling taking a hearing test yesterday, knowing that the dead air I was experiencing held fully audible sound for other people. It's remarkably hard to believe — I mean, really, viscerally believe — that other people can perceive things I can't. I mean, everybody knows it, a bloodhound can follow the trail of a single ant for forty miles ten years after the fact & so on — but believe it? Nah.
I like a man with big hyperbole.
My hearing is very selective. I can be asleep, with my husband playing the piano in another room, and not hear it at all. IF I am already asleep. If I am trying desperately to fall asleep, however, it's just a very loud noise, and it keeps me awake. And yet… even if sound asleep, if one of my parrots flutters and falls off his perch in the middle of the night — an imperceptible sound to most people — I will hear it and jump out of bed.
WHY do your parrots fall off their perches?
Sometimes, I guess they have nightmares and try to fly off, or they preen during the night and take a misstep. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, boy, I'm there!
I've heard hummingbirds sometimes hang upside down from branches when they're in their torpid state. Grippy little buggers, they are, if inattentive at times.
Oooo, don't get me started on the husbands who can't (don't? don't want to?) hear their wife's voice … we joke that years of listening to me has worn out that range in my husband's hearing. There may be some truth to it. Some days more than others.
Maybe we wouldn't wear them down if we weren't so abrasive.
Sigh. Twice when I rang my partner's parents his father answered the phone, said hello and hung up saying 'there was no-one there'. And his deafness has been inherited. So now I contend with some 'act of god' deafness and some 'act of malice' deafness.
It sounds right peaceful, really.
The only comment I can think of is "What?"!!
For years I was thinking I should get some hearing aids, so I finally had a hearing test and my hearing was pronounced almost normal. Since then I've been hearing all sorts of little sounds I hadn't heard simply because I hadn't been paying attention. Like 24/7 traffic out on the main road. ugh.
The cool thing about getting hearing aids (I'm told) is you can willfully take them out to get some rest.
If I ever do need them that will definitely be an advantage.
I think Dave not hearing you sometimes might fall in that selective hearing category…"a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest."
Who wouldn't want to hear ME? ME? ME?
it's so beautiful. thanks mummy for sharing the nice photo.