In a Heat Wave – The Cool Song of a Wood Thrush

As in much of the country, late June and early July here have brought one of the worst heat waves I can remember, with temperatures reaching 107 and 108 degrees for three days in a row, and several other days at or near 100. While these days have brought us some of the hottest temperatures ever recorded here, they also have brought one of the coolest sounds of summer. Down in the woods along a creek, usually in a spot not far from the road, well shaded and screened by green leaves, a Wood Thrush sings.

It’s been singing almost every morning since the last week in June, around 7:00 or 7:30 when I walk by. The song sounds impossibly lovely. Clear, fluted, echoing notes, tut-tut-eee-oh-lay, tut-tut-eee-ooh-zeeee. For several minutes each morning, I stop and listen. With the sun already burning in a hot blue sky, and the early morning air heavy and oppressive, the song drifts up from the woods like a chilled fresh breeze.

Leave a Reply