As someone prairie born and prairie raised, there is a certain set of sounds I associate with the middle of winter. The squeak of the snow under your feet at minus forty degrees. The sound of the wind howling around the corners of the eaves in the midst of a blizzard. The electrical whoosh of the Northern Lights in the still of the night.
Today I find myself on the west coast, enjoying Vancouver, in the deep of winter – learning a whole new set of sounds. As I walk the sea wall around Stanley Park, I am intrigued by a cracking and clacking.
It takes me a while to realize it’s the sound of the crows picking clams off the beach at low tide and dropping them on the sidewalk. The shells crack as they roll, opening up to provide a tasty lunch for the inventive birds.
Now that’s a sound I’ll never hear in wintry Saskatoon.