Fleetwood Community Center booms with sounds of nature

The “Booming Sounds of Nature” filled the Fleetwood Community Center’s first floor meeting room Aug. 5.

Fleetwood Area Public Library hosted another in a series of science presentations for the Fizz, Boom, Read summer reading program. About 20 children and their parents sat down to watch Lancaster County Parks and Recreation naturalist Lisa Sanchez give an hour-long presentation about “The Booming Sounds of Nature”.

The program focused on animal sounds. Sanchez used a PowerPoint presentation embedded with audio clips, her cell phone and her voice to bring the calls of the animals into the room for the audience.

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Stephanie Williams, the Fleetwood Area Public Library Director, coordinated the program.

“The kids seemed to really enjoy it and it was nice for them to be able to identify sounds that the already hear in nature and see the different photographs that Lisa Sanchez provided today,” she said.

“This was part of our summer reading program. The program is twofold. We first have a reading incentive program where kids can read a certain number of books and win prizes. Secondly, we bring different performers and free family programs to the library to encourage the kids to see what’s available in their community and become even more excited about reading. For example, after today’s program, kids will be more excited to learn about different animals and they could find books about them.”

Sanchez began with the howl of the indigenous coyote, discussing the animal’s pack mentality before taking that train of thought (or sound) to South America, where the eerie, guttural call of the howler monkey can be heard echoing down from the treetops. Sanchez spoke about various behavioral characteristics of the animals she covered and engaged the kids in the audience throughout her presentation.

She played the bellow of the alligator, initiating a child in the audience to exclaim, “That’s scary!” and a mother to say, “That sounds like my stomach when I’m hungry.”

“Funny you should say that,” said Sanchez. “I often hear kids say, “That sounds like dad when he’s sleeping.”

She played haunting whale calls next, explaining, “I didn’t include any sounds of booming thunder and lightning because I know that you all get to hear that every time we have a storm! I only included the sounds of different animals!”

Next came the raucous squawk of the great blue heron, a local fisherman. She talked about the heron’s proclivity towards pooping on intruders, saying, “Heron poop is NOT pleasant! But, you know, if you get pooped on by a bird it brings you good luck!”

Sanchez played the sounds made by deer antlers clashing, elk wails echoing and barn owls screeching. She played the “who cooks for you” call of the barred owl, the classic hoot of the great horned owl and the whinny and tremolo of the most common owl in Pennsylvania, the eastern screech owl.

She followed with the calls of indigenous toads and frogs, the roar of the bobcat and the purr of a baby raccoon. There were many more animals, including black bears and rattlesnakes, before wrapping up the program with the calls of birds of prey, concluding with the bald eagle.

About the program, Sanchez said, “This is one of those programs where it’s all about visuals, seeing the picture of the animal, hearing the sound and associating those two things together, unlike a lot of the other programs we do that have hands-on activities. This one’s more about ‘Let’s boom and let’s make sounds,’ and what better place to do that than the library when they let us!”

On Monday, Aug. 11, the Lancaster County Department of Parks and Recreation will be back in the Fleetwood Borough Hall’s first floor meeting room at 10:30 to present “When Shooting Stars Fall”.