25 – Soundscapes

Time for a Blog Break because blog breaks are good. The most probable return is January 9, 2021. Best holiday wishes to all in the tradition you chose.

Click the video above for 2 minutes of background waves while reading.

I like walking on the beach. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

Photo by Darwis Alwan on Pexels.com

The beach is an easy place to identify. If taken there blindfolded, other senses would make this place easy to identify – especially the sounds. On a bigger scale, the soundscape captures the beach.

The sounds of the beach. How many layers of sounds do I hear as I walk? What if I could magically turn off all the sounds, then bring them back one by one? In what order would they appear?

From the depth of silence, I would first return the sounds of the waves because they are the beach’s heartbeat. Ever-present – always steady – sometimes louder – but the sounds of the sea serve as the conductor of the steady symphony I experience as I walk in this place.

As I stand facing the water and feeling the laps gently caressing my feet, I can hear the tiny bubbles of foam. That air trapped in the water being released into the atmosphere. Maybe that is my transition sound.

Photo by Julia Kuzenkov on Pexels.com

Then comes the wind. The wind can greatly vary in its presence through direction and speed. The wind can pass my ears as a roar of a passing train. It can also be a soft whistle – or even the calming sound and the feel of a gentle touch. But wait – the same wind sounds different depending on the direction as I walk.

The next layer would be the birds. As a whole, they are not a noisy lot. The seagulls squawk, but not constantly. The pelicans are stealth as they effortless soar just above the water’s surface. I occasionally hear the tweet of the sanderlings as they fly by.

I do not hear insects or the sand crabs, but it does not mean they do not create sound. Nor do I hear human traffic or construction – but that may be a different soundscape.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

I could add the sound of my feet – that steady bass drum that only I hear as I walk – or the splashing with each step as I walk through the passing water.

People would be the next sound. This time of year, the numbers are few. Humanity’s auditory presence is not constant – infrequent would be more accurate. The sounds in peak season would be different from the kids romping, teens playing, and radios blaring.

All these different sounds melded together into one of nature’s symphonies. Think of an orchestra with many instruments – with a conductor trying to isolate sounds while enhancing others by prioritizing and adjusting volumes. All are a balancing act for style.

However, nature has no conductor to lead the way – to balance the sounds. The roar of the sea can drown out other sounds – but sometimes that is for the better – other times not.

Photo by Anand Dandekar on Pexels.com

A soundscape at home in Ohio would be different than here. Would it be rural or urban? In a meadow or the woods? By day or at night?

Maybe I would start with rustling leaves, then add the gentle waters of a babbling stream. Insects would then buzz, followed by birds chirping. Nightfall would remove the buzzing insects and chirping birds of the day, but replaced by the crickets, followed by the chorus of croaking frogs, then the occasional screeches of owls and the howling of mammals.

No matter where nature’s symphony plays, what if one sound was eliminated? Would you want a concert with missing instruments or a piano concerto with missing keys?

I think about the lyrics in a Nat King Cole song – Mother Nature and Father Time.

Every robin is my brother
They sing their songs to me
The tiny black-eyed daisies
The mighty redwood tree
They’re all my family

Then why do I feel so lonely
Like a king on an empty throne
There’s one thing that’s missing only
A true love to call my own

Won’t you listen mother nature
And listen father time
Please help me to find someone
To fill these arms of mine
Mother nature and father time

Not only do soundscapes differ from place to place, the soundscape of any place differs over time – not only within a day, but also day to day – month to month – season to season. However, there are times when a sound enters that does not belong. Those are signals of change. That’s why we must pay attention.

I wonder how many pictures can a soundscape paint? Thoughts of soundscapes are more complex than I imagined – but thinking about soundscapes is good. After all, I like walking on the beach because it is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

See what other bloggers have posted about soundscapes

Next Post: TBA – Saturday 9 January 2021 @ 1:00 AM (Eastern US)

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131 thoughts on “25 – Soundscapes”

  1. Lovely words and images as usual Frank. I do love the beach and hope to make it back there this summer. In the meantime I wish you a peaceful and relaxing Christmas and blogging break. 😍

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved how you unraveled each layer of sound at the beach, with such gentle and tender words Frank. I never imagined this before. Thanks for making me aware of this perspective to enjoy the lovely soundscapes of the beach. Merry Christmas and a Happy New year. Enjoy your holidays season!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Radhika,
      Your words made me smile. Thank you for noting the layers. When I was writing this post, I recall thinking about the soundscape like a piece of music – music starting with a few sounds, then building, fading away, and then the sequence starting over but with different instruments. After all, not all the sounds of night or day start at the same time – they seamlessly flow together. Wishing you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, and all the greetings of the season.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Loved the inclusion of Nat King Cole – my Dad’s favorite – quite “Unforgettable”. The sounds at the beach are soft and soothing to me – even when the sea is angry – it still reminds me with each breaking wave how special it is to have a walk along the shore. I like my beaches “unpopulated” by other humans though – I want the joy of being there all to myself! Enjoy your blog break – Merry Christmas and a happy and health New Year.


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Pam,
      The solitude of the beach is wonderful – which is one of the reasons I enjoy where we go. Beach sounds are consistent – yes – even when the sea is angry – consistent, as well as soothing – and extra special for those of us who don’t leave near it – therefore it consumes us – sweeps us away. Merry Christmas to you and yours … especially Teddy.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. What a beautiful post Frank! Close your eyes and just by listening sounds of waves, seagulls, wind or rustling of dry leaves, far away echoing sound of temple bells all are like meditation.
    Thoroughly enjoyed reading your post.
    Have a safe and wonderful festive holidays.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Marina,
      Isn’t it interesting how soundscapes differ from location to location. I’m sure the beach sounds of the Mediterranean are different than those of the Atlantic or the Gulf of Mexico. Let alone the differences you hear on your walks up the hills above the city. All are worth toasting … Yamas!


  5. Ah, how I miss the sounds of gulls and Canada geese flying overhead… Must get down to the beach as soon as this snow and ice melts. Thank you for reminding me of the beach’s beartbeat. 💙 Happy Holidays, Frank, and enjoy your break! 🌲

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Enjoy your blogging break, Frank. I’ve been using the sound of waves on my sleep app at night to help drown out the sounds of loud cars and pickup trucks going by at night. 🙂 I also know about those little foam sounds and then the raucous seagulls, which aren’t just on beaches.

    Merry Christmas/happy holidays.


    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’m getting really good at coming back when others are taking a break! Enjoy your time away. I’ll spend some of my time catching up with your posts. Merry merry and happy holidays to you and yours!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Frank, you’re speaking my language with this one!! I can’t fathom not hearing the various sounds of the sea, from ocean waves to caressing wind to birds (and yes, traffic!). Likening them to the sounds of an orchestra is perfect. Meanwhile, the sounds you describe at home in Ohio are comforting to me because they’re familiar and very similar to what we have here. Enjoy your break and have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Debbie,
      Thank you for the kind words. Given we are in similar states, I’m sure the soundscape of our areas matchup very well. Glad you liked my orchestra analogy. I recall thinking about an orchestra when I wrote this walk. Meanwhile, Merry Christmas to you and yours … and best wishes for your 2021.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I realized from your post that there is solitude available on the beach but not silence really, for the heartbeat of the ocean – the waves continue relentlessly. Wish you an amazing time for the holidays and a wonderful relaxing blogging break.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura,
      Thank you and glad you enjoyed this walk. The blog break will be relatively short – several weeks – and I say that because I have taken them for 2 months (on the old blog). My plan is not to be totally absent, so don’t be surprised if you see me somewhere. Plus, I know I will also be doing some advance planning here – so blog break won’t be a complete getaway – and that’s OK.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. “conductor of the steady symphony” This was a nice way to set the tone for the rest of your essay. Cole’s lyrics are a beautiful addition, too. Shutting out the soundscape and letting it re-emerge is an interesting mental exercise. I’m very sensitive to sounds and get distracted by anything unusual (and sometimes annoyed – I detest ticking clocks). I should turn on a wave sound to help me out!😊

    Liked by 1 person

  11. You know you had me with Nat King Cole. His voice fits into any soundscape…
    As for the sounds while sitting at a beach – something I love to do. Close my eyes and let each one be heard, the waves, the wind, the birds, the distant sounds of laughter and splashing, the low hum of muted conversations, the rustle of the leaves in nearby trees…

    I wish you and Mrs. Right Angle a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Enjoy your break and see you in the year year!


  12. Awesome descriptive post – glad I clicked through here, kinda sad I’ll have to wait till the 9th now tho. Oh well. Patience is golden, right?
    Happy holidays and enjoy the break!


    1. Zoe … (May I call you that?)
      Welcome first-time beach walker. This post is typical here … calm, thought provoking, the opportunity of sounds in the background as one reads, an ending video, and links to others. Although I’m off until the 9th, feel free to look around at any of the previous 24 posts. (Horizons is one of my favorites). Several (tides, moon, sky, clouds) are collaborations with photographers. Thanks for visiting all the way from the Netherlands. 🙂 … and best holiday wishes to you.


  13. Such a beautiful post.. Loved the poem.. Robins are part of my garden family.. 🙂
    Have a well deserved break my friend.. I Think maybe I am still on mine 🙂 I thank you for your friendship, and wish you and your family a blessed Christmas Holiday…
    Love and best wishes.. Sue 🙂 🙏💚🎄🎅

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Cincy

    A symphony is the perfect way to describe the myriad sounds that we hear on the beach. And it would be most interesting to take them all away and then to add them again, one at a time. Or maybe mix and match as if we were constructing a song. Hmmm. Muy interesting.

    And to finish this with the inimitable Nat King Cole?

    It’s a perfecto.

    Enjoy your break, good sir. And Merry Christmas.



    1. Marc,
      For those who take the time to listen, nature is a wonderful listen. Just imagine the sounds in a rain forest transitioning from night to day to building and receding and building again through the night. Hard o image taking all that in. >…. an yes – adding them one by one …. then repeating changing the order. Wonderful.

      Glad you enjoyed the smooth tones of Nat King Cole. Merry Christmas to you and your kids.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I guess that each one of us, feels and hears different sound, always depending where you walk. The affinity with which you melt into Nature, gives you back several type of emotions. None of them, superficial, but depending of your “way to synchronize”, the vibrational’s levels are quite different.
    Is difficoult to express exactly what I mean: let’s try to cope with the merge of “sensitivity” in each human being.
    By the way, I’m more than sure that all your readers “vibrate” in more or less the same way, reason why they’re here 🙂
    I wish to you and your belowed, the most serene holydays… we need it to recharge batteries to look forward to a better future.
    There is no ensurance, and each one of us must take good care and (pls. forgive me to give tips) look at oneself’s way of nuriscing, and enforcing the immune system. A lot of good balanced veg food with the right supply of vitamins D and C…
    Love and hugs :-)c

    Liked by 1 person

  16. “Nature’s Symphony” – what a wonderfully perfect description for the sounds of the beach! This post is another favourite. You have really excelled in describing the sounds of the beach, and the impact each sound has on our enjoyment of being there. Every sound is equally as vital as the next in creating the perfect symphony. 🙂
    Enjoy your break, and Happy New Year to you, Frank! ❤


  17. The unique restfulness of being at the ocean is that the sounds can be somewhat thunderous when the surf is powerful, but it is restful in the rhythmic nature, I suppose. And I think the best part is that unnatural sound, noise, is minimized, if not completely drowned out. I can feel cocooned in ocean sounds and to me, there’s nothing like it. I hope you’re enjoying a bit of a break, Frank, and that the new year ushers in more time for beach walks!


    1. Debra,
      Powerful and restful just don’t seem to go together, but in terms of being seaside on the beach, the paradox fits like hand and glove. Knowing how much you love the beach, your feeling of cocooned is a wonderful descriptor for you. Happy New Year to you and yours!


  18. Dude! Happy New Year my friend 🙂 glad you’ll be back to post soon but super glad that will give me time to catch up as I took a break myself during Christmas break. But you know all this time I’ve been to the beach I always just focus on the water and waves… the heartbeat of the ocean! I LOVE THAT. LOVE IT! But I hadn’t realized or really paid attention to the layers. There are so many, but the heartbeat is the strongest so I guess that’s why it’s my focus. But the wind, the seagulls, the people, the boogie board splashing, everything contributing to the symphony even the tiny ripples bubbling at your toes. Soundscapes that’s a perfect way to describe it. Opened up another door today so thanks 🙂 THANKS for the post … kind of reminds me of The Conductor in The Phantom Tollbooth 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I’m so glad I finally realized that you’d come back to blogging, only wearing different clothes. So peaceful, yet significant! The Lake Huron beach of my home town is not quite as busy or magnificent as ocean beaches, but you’ve dredged up fond memories. Thanx! See you around. 😀 🌯


    1. Archon,
      Hey hey hey … if it’s not the philosopher north of my border! Welcome to you as a first-time beach walk on my sands of time. As compared to my previous home, this place is all about peacefulness. However, like the other place, it also aims at being thought-provoking. The format here is similar walk to walk, but the topic differs with each walk. Take a look around as you may find something to strikes your fancy in the 25 walks. With my blog break on final approach, I return to posting three times per week this Saturday. Glad I was able to rekindle some memories of your hometown with this walk!


  20. I have ‘heard’ beach sounds at the Atlantic, The North Sea, the Pacific and not a few lakes, creeks and rivers…they all are for sure as you put it like symphonic works…perfectly coordinated to be what ever beach/shore they may be. I like the ones the best that have no man-made sounds to interrupt the peacefulness of the lapping waves or even the crashing waves! And when the fog rolls in, well it seems to muffle some of the sounds, or enhance then=m. Hmmm. that seems odd, but be the varied thickness of mists and fog. Some make Wagnerian ostentatious music, others play the simpler sounds such as a Mozart piano sonata, and so on. The earth and its waterways seem to me to be God’s music composition book, and we are blessed if we can take the time to listen; to enjoy its beauty and message. Afterall, God is the conductor of all those sounds and how they are produced.


    1. Meezer,
      Wow – what a beautiful comment and so much to ponder. Your thoughts about the fog strikes me the most. The consistent sound is different – some of which is due to the lack of wind. Oh, a beach walk about Fog is in the queue, but off the top of my head, I don’t know the date. Meanwhile, the beach I primarily walk is far enough from the road I seldom hear traffic – but planes in the air, boats on the water, or maintenance workers on builders can penetrate nature’s orchestra.


  21. I’m sighing and yawning as I write these words, Frank. Just listening to that water calmed me so much all I now want to do is curl up and take a nap. Have you ever heard your awed breath as you immerse in the beauty of the ALL around you? I love doing that. My breath is slow very slow and my exhale is very long. To me it is meditation. It’s as though Mother and I fully become ONE. I love reading your thoughts and I thank you so much for sharing them. Hope you had a lovely Holiday. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  22. A blogging break is its own soundscape. I took one for two weeks and am just returning now. The soundscape is quiet, and I find that I miss my blogging community and their lovely voices that share their lives, their hopes, their dreams, their fears, and their walks on the beach.
    That said, one of my favorite soundscapes is walking on the beach, just like you. The melodious rhythm of the waves, the squish of my toes on sand, the tiny feet of the shorebirds as they scurry in and out, the sucking sound as the clams hide back into the ocean mud. Ahhhhh. Happy New Year, Frank!


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