Ponder this:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Son et lumière


On Saturday afternoon and into the evening I could hear, from over the hill, the shrill happy sounds of teenage females: A Party. The cadence of the group sound was, at times, that of a chant, leading me to think of a roving gang of cheerleaders. Other times the wind carried to me the delightedly manic screaming that I associate with youth-in-swimming-pools. I turned toward the sounds, frowning slightly in concentration. BobbiAnn and Don have two daughters, one about the right age to have friends that would make those sounds . . . that carry across a couple of miles, across the hills and valleys, through the leafy trees . . . the same way coyote yips and howls do. About the same tones, as well.
Pool party

I do not recall ever being one of those yippy little girls, abandoned to joy, carefree, confident in happiness. 
I am glad that there are such children. 
I am glad they were miles away.


driveway lights
solar lights somewhat similar to mine on a driveway completely dissimilar to mine

Last winter I shopped on eBay for solar lights, the kind you stick in the ground, unnoticeable in daylight, that come on all by themselves (the clever little things!) when it gets dark. I bought some at Walmart a few years ago and I liked them: they made me feel like Christmas in July, or as if I had fairies stationed around the yard. They were little decorative miracles of thrift to me. That first batch has worn out now and I wanted more. It was off-season and I got a good price on two cases of them. A couple of months ago, when the weather got warm enough that I could envision being outdoors after dark, I broke open the cartons where they were stored in the barn. After stabbing the copper-finished lights' little posts into the ground at intervals of three-four feet among the shrubs along the front of the house, I still had most of the second carton left over. I put a few at the sides of the two walkways off the patio in the rear of the house. Still, many left. I suspect the batteries in the things will wear out whether they're used or not, so I scouted for more nighttime accent light spots. Two in the daylilies at the far end of the front yard stone wall, two behind the front yard birches, two behind the back yard birches. Still . . . a layer of lights in the carton. Wandering around with as many of the fixtures as I could carry, I spied . . . crannies . . . in the driveway side of the stone wall, and discovered that those little holes were just the right depth and diameter for the stems of the lights. The effect is stunning.
I expect that some night an inexperienced pilot of a small airplane might mistake our front yard for a landing strip.

22 comments:

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello June:
It is indeed to be hoped that, worse than a light aircraft, you do not have an off course Jumbo Jet descending onto your property mistaking it for the bright lights of JFK, Heathrow, or wherever!

To have some light in the garden does give it a magical quality at night but, in our view, there should not be too much to spoil the illusion of mystery.

Friko said...

Those lights look very handsome. I didn't realize that they have batteries, i thought they were solar powered.

I have a box of tall outdoor candles left, both to give light and to repel insects, but we just haven't had the weather to use them.

The sound of young people having fun, doesn't it carry!
Luckily, it's a happy sound. a sound to make you smile.

VioletSky said...

Well, you may never have been one of those carefree, confident in happiness little girl, but you certainly have a wicked sense of humour.

and that website is shockingly hilarious!

June said...

Jane and Lance, we are in the flyway between the two ends of the state. There's a big noisy jet flying over as I type. It could happen...
I left the back yard unilluminated, except for the patio walkways. That mystery you speak of...

Friko, they are solar powered. By means of batteries. I hope you get to use your bug candles soon. I like the scent of citronella. Yes, I smiled at the happy sound, mostly because it was muted and diffused by distance.

VioletSky, thank you. :-> I hope you absorbed the wisdom of that article. It appears to have been written for extraterrestrials.

Wanda..... said...

Sometimes the muffled summer sounds of music and teenagers in a distant pool drifts over the ravines in the woods between us and civilization too. My garden solar lights have lost their ability to cast a glow though.

Always enjoy your writing, June!

Pauline said...

I have those delightful little solar lights all along my patio path. It's like wonderland at night.

Sightings said...

Love those sounds of summer. We live in a neighborhood with children of all ages; and we'll never move to a retirement community for precisely that reason. The ice cream truck. The school buses. The boys playing softball or football on the lawn. And yes, the girls in the pool. All sounds of life. But, you are so right -- we're glad that the sounds are there, also glad they are down the street a little ways!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi June, Yes---I was one of those squeely, crazy teenagers once... We had slumber parties and pool parties and who knows what other kind of parties... SO many great memories of my childhood.

We also have some solar lights in our yard. They do have to be replaced though--even though we have tried on occasion to change the batteries... Better to get a new set!!!! ha

Hugs,
Betsy

Carolynn said...

I was a precocious child full of laughter and mischief until I hit my teen years. Then I was quiet & solitary, for the most part. I was never a party-er and always had just one or two close friends.

Love the lights. Now all I need is a yard to put them in....

Olga said...

Fun times in the pool...I'm sure there is something about water that makes sound carry...do get shared around the neighborhood.

Barb said...

June, I love both these summer stories - one of joy, one of light.

Vicki Lane said...

A roving gang of cheerleaders is a fairly terrifying thought.

Anne said...

I love my solar lights too!

And you know, there's a money making opportunity for you. You could start offering refreshments to all those jet passengers!!

When you become a millionaire, remember who gve you the idea!

Retired English Teacher said...

Those solar lights are great. I have been thinking about getting some. Let me know if an aircraft lands. I will get smaller ones if one does. :)

Linda Myers said...

I love neighborhood night sounds - except a lawn mower starting up at 9 p.m. and a woman's scream at 11:30 p.m. Earplugs for the first and 911 for the second.

We have the lights along our walkway so I can see!

Lovely post.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

It looked very welcoming. Like something in a movie - where two people come walking down the street.

Very nice.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Wherever you see them , the pushing , giggling , shrieking , jostling hair-flicking swarm usually only consists of four or five leggy girls .
It's strange to think that they'll all morph into librarians , account executives and grandmothers . And take up knitting .

Freda said...

Other half has put in such bright sensor outside lights that solar lights would be ineffective. Anyway, we don't get enough sunshine!

Hilary said...

So that's the glow which keeps me awake at night. ;)

They look great.

Suze said...

We have solar lights in the backyard. I like the idea of them being fae sprites hopping about.

Beth Camp said...

May you always have solar lights to brighten the dusk and to inspire your wonderful writing. . .

#1Nana said...

I think I saw your driveway glowing in the darkness when I flew over on my way home from Texas!