Friday, February 18, 2011

I can hear the sighing of the casuarina

from w
Have you ever heard the sighing of casuarina trees that almost sound like a human voice and people speak of ghosts when they hear this.

The boys chopped down part of a casuarina tree near the back fence which was overlapping a neighbour's shed so I gathered the flowers and examined the branches because this is the tree that creates a sighing sound in a breeze. Not that there's only a zephyr breeze today, it's more like a gale with the vegetable garden suddenly growing pants, shirts, and skirts! Outdoor furniture is down, a beach umbrella lodged behind a building, etc. Anyway the casuarina, sometimes called she-oaks, figures in plenty Australian poems e.g. by Henry Lawson. I guess that the silence of a beach or bush means that you can hear soft sounds.

(from the net)
The family Casuarinaceae occurs naturally in Australia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific and comprises four genera and 90 species. Australia has 66 species in three genera: six in Casuarina, 59 in Allocasuarina and one in Gymnostoma. Commonly called she-oaks (and sometimes oaks) because of the similarity of their timber to that of European oaks, casuarinas are a distinctive part of many Australian coastal and riverine landscapes.

The word ‘casuarina’ is derived from the Malay word for cassowary, kasuari, and is a reference to the similarity of the tree’s drooping branches to the feathers of the bird. Casuarinas also bear a resemblance to pine trees, with needle-like foliage and woody fruits. The foliage, however, is not composed of true leaves but rather of green, jointed branchlets that function like leaves. The true leaves are tiny, tooth-like structures protruding from around the top of each joint.

Can I hear the soft sounds and sighs of the casuarinas. Yes I can. I can really say that my hearing is fine for the lowest tuba tune to the highest note on a piano or the soprano of a Hildergarde Bingen song. What brought this comment on was that yesterday I did a 15 minute audio test in response to a 'cold call' and three times they kept persisting that we do this free test, though not by a doctor but I guess an audiologist. I was put in a booth with a buzzer to press and headphones. The only test was for high pitches, not voice, not music, not timbre. Very limited. The results were shocking to say the least. The tester decided that I have a major hearing problem. Come on, come on, just because I don't hear the high sounds that a dog notices! Her spiel than was for me to urgently give a letter to a doctor for a referral, etc. etc. and then 'the government' will pay for everything that I will need! It is not quite a scam, but it is not necessary at all to go further. Isn't there too much noise going on in the world anyway! I can still hear the casuarinas sighing!

There's more on the casuarinas are on the babasiga blog today.

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Blogger annie said...

I agree, Wendy, there are tests and then there are tests. It sounds as if you usually hear all the lovely sounds around you that you like. But when a cold hits the ears it can make a lot of temporary changes, and this might be why your tests did not reflect the hearing that you normally have. I would think that re-tests would be necessary, later, after the cold has gone, to find your REAL hearing range. Also, the quality of the tests seems to depend on the quality of the testers.

When you can hear the sighing of the casuarina trees, that must be a happy moment.

5:04 AM  
Blogger Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Hello Annie,
Because health care is free in Australia for citizens and permanent residents, there are huge bills with referrals that are paid by the government, so it's easy for health care people to just make money out of it all when it's not really necessary. My hearing is fine except when some people mumble!
Okay, perhaps it's me after all!

11:46 PM  
Blogger annie said...

Just tell 'em to stop mumbling...


3:56 AM  

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