The new sounds of summer

In the summer in my ‘hood, everyone’s windows are open.

We are so situated here in paradise that the ocean breeze is all we ever need by way of air conditioning.

This prompted apologies to all my neighbors when my kids were young, as I was the “loud mom.” One neighbor told me he thought my son’s name was Marshall-don’t.

Now that I’m not the one hollering, I have noticed the sounds of several new neighbors, and I am delighted to report they have all been happy sounds.

Teens laughing and hooting, youngsters whooping it up in a pool and general family outdoor gatherings.

But we recently got one pair of neighbors with an entirely new sound.

It is, fortunately for me, a sound I find delightful, even in the early morning. Apparently, I am a country girl at heart.

You see our new neighbors are of the feathered variety.

I haven’t pinpointed which home to our rear has them, but mornings and evenings are now peppered with that funny, rather comforting chuckle and squawk of chickens.

They are pretty silent most of the daytime, which surprised me until I read that they doze more during hot weather.  Though my taste may lean toward the rural, I know precious little about poultry. I hope to learn as much as listening will allow.

To everyone’s great relief, we are zoned for chickens but not for roosters.

That is an entirely different level of farmyard noise. If you’re not a morning person, and I mean a really early morning person, you truly do not want to hang out around roosters.

I have always loved the sound of a rooster’s crow when it is far, far off in the distance. Put them within 200 yards and everything changes. You begin to dream of a rooster relocation program and possibly releasing them into the way- way-out-there wild. You might even contemplate stewed rooster and dumplings. It’s not pretty.

Soon I will go knocking on doors to find the hen’s owners and query about buying fresh eggs. I adore the idea of being a serious locavore and I will rest easy knowing the chicks have been handled with care. There’s nothing quite as delicious as an omelet with a clear conscience.

Jean Gillette is a freelance writer dreaming of Huevos Rancheros and all things Benedict. Contact her at



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