Seattle SoundsPandemic absences…

Schoolkids laughing

three blocks away

(they’re all inside for

remote learning)

Glassdoor sliding

as my partner leaves for work

(he’s working from home


Intermittent reminders

from my watch alarm

(with no place to go,

no need to set it)

Neighbor dogs barking

at curious passers-by

(as air quality fails,

none venture outside)

Roofers nail-gunning;

arborists trimming trees

(all outside work stops

while our forests burn)

Is this the new normal?

Seattle Sounds
Our backyard wildlife habitat, summer 2020

Constant companions…

A cacophony of crows

cah cah cah

(More peanuts, please)

Anna’s hummingbirds crackling

chzee chzee chzee

(Drink from the spray)

Red-breasted nuthatches honking

mep mep mep

(Seeds, follow me)

Black-capped chickadees chanting

dee dee dee

(Cold bathing water)

Northern flickers calling

fwicka fwicka fwicka

(I found fresh suet)

The backyard fountain

burbles and gurgles

calming my many anxieties.

Who – or what — defines normal?

Seattle Sounds
Our favorite bird, the pileated woodpecker

A year later…

Exit a global pandemic

enter wildfire season

Reopen the world

resume the chaos

reimagine zoos and schools

revisit trails and people

return to parks and places

restart habits and hobbies

Mother Earth heals.

She also requires healing–

our help, vigilance, protection.

What have we learned?

Listen, look, notice

pay attention

to our constant companions

before it’s too late.

New blog, a new path, new me.

Seattle Sounds
Onward, upward, forward… with Ajax and Wonder

Published by Courtenay Schurman

Co-author of The Outdoor Athlete (2009) and Train to Climb Mt. Rainier or Any High Peak DVD (2002), author of Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills/conditioning chapter 4 (3 editions), and Peak Performance column for the Mountaineers Mag (2014-present). Member of PNWA, SCBWI, EPIC. Served on the steering committee for WOTS (2019-present). Completed UW Certificate program for Children's Literature and Memoir. Co-owner of Body Results, Inc. in Seattle. Climb leader with Seattle Mountaineers for over 15 years. Volunteer at Woodland Park Zoo since 2014.

7 replies on “Seattle Sounds”

    1. It is not; it was actually one I found on a neighborhood walk with my dog Ajax and shot for my Capture Your 365 project for the prompt, “negative space.” I don’t know who the original artist was. Thanks for the question!

  1. Congratulations and best wishes on making new connections — with yourself and others.

  2. You did it! Congratulations on a 7-year journey into blogging. Can’t wait to read more!

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