Hear it as a low continuous rustle


My strongest memory of our garden is not how it smelled, or even looked, but how it sounded. It might strike you as fantastic, but you really can hear plants growing in the Midwest. At its peak, sweet corn grows a whole inch every single day and as the layers of husk shift slightly to accommodate this expansion, you can hear it as a low continuous rustle if you stand inside the rows of a cornfield on a perfectly still August day. As we dug in our garden, I listened to the lazy buzzing of bees as they staggered drunkenly from flower to flower, the petty, sniping chirps of the cardinals remarking upon our bird feeder, the scraping of our trowels through the dirt, and the authoritative whistle of the factory, blown each day at noon.

~ Hope Jahren, Lab Girl 

Notes: Photo: Patty Maher “Still Life with Corn 2013) (via My Modern Met)


  1. Reminds me of the sound of falling snow, one of the most relaxing sounds I know. Of course, it is the prelude to the symphony of shoveling, huffing and puffing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG, this woman has described a slice of my childhood! I grew up in central Illinois, farms for as far as the eye could see, and I could hear the breeze rustling through the seed corn and the sonorous buzz of the bees in my granny’s strawberry patch even as I read this passage….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this picture because of its beauty and it reminds me both on my garden and lanky, wondrous red-headed daughter.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful! Funny how sounds can be so thought-provoking to evoke strong memories of childhood.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve never listened. I will though, the next opportunity! ❤
    Diana xo

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I remember hearing the quiet rustling of the cattails at the side of a small lake when we were sitting in a little boat, fly fishing. The only other sounds were from the marsh birds singing. Beautiful day.


  7. Beautiful through and through. Amazing stalks. You can see how fugitive slaves were able to hide in them in the South.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It is beautiful. Thanks.


  9. Listening 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  10. i loved to lie on the grass in the summer, just as it became dusk, look up at the sky, and just listen.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. “Listening to the corn grow” is not a metaphor. Like Lori, it’s part of my genetic make-up.
    Also, I hope you find a use for every one of Patty Maher’s photographs. Brilliant pairings so far, mate.

    Liked by 1 person

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