With respect to completing the Grid for September, I was full of valiant intention, prepared to squeeze hikes in at odd hours, take the month’s last week off entirely, whatever it would take — but there was still the sore ankle to contend with. So I settled for a 6.6-mile round-trip to Panther Mountain, at night since that was the available window, and instead of covering a lot of ground, I’d look and listen and ponder.
Sitting on the porch one summer weekend afternoon, I became conscious of a great cacophony emanating from high in the trees and deep in the bushes, but of the many creatures buzzing, chirping, trilling, squawking, screaming, and clattering away, none was visible. Could I learn to distinguish any of these sounds and associate them with their respective species? And would I ever catch a glimpse of these secretive singers?