The Garret Tree
Sunday, February 19, 2006
  The trumpet shall sound
Robin's back yard

I have a foghorn in my back yard. Or perhaps a dinosaur.

The City of Toronto has what is called a "downspout replacement program." The idea is to stop too much water going into the storm sewers. So the downspout from the evestrough (gutter for the Yanks reading this) which originally went into the sewer system now waters your garden. A great idea, good for the environment--and it didn't cost me a cent (of course I do pay for it with my taxes).

The city did the site survey in the fall and I expected the contractor to do the work in the spring.

But our warm January provided the contractor the opportunity to do the job.

So I got home from work and


What was that? I wondered as I was going off to sleep. Some strange bird?


It was only after hearing that sound for a day or so, that I figured out that the new downspout was acting like a trumpet.

Somehow the wind is sweeping down the evestrough and then down the downspout.
The end of the downspout
So for every breeze, there's a "wooooooooooh." Sometimes it sounds like a foghorn. Other times it does sound like the call of some tropical bird.

And a dinosaur. While the latest theory is that the crest of the duckbilled dinosaurs were visual signals like those on a rooster, there have been theories as well that those long crests also acted as calling trumpets.


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I write in a renovated garret in my house in a part of Toronto, Canada, called "The Pocket." The blog is named for a tree can be seen outside the window of my garret.

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Name: Robin Rowland
Location: Toronto, Canada

I'm a Toronto-based writer, photographer, web producer, television producer, journalist and teacher. I'm author of five books, the latest A River Kwai Story: The Sonkrai Tribunal. The Garret tree is my blog on the writing life including my progress on my next book (which will be announced here some time in the coming months) My second blog, the Wampo, Nieke and Sonkrai follows the slow progress of my freelanced model railway based on my research on the Burma Thailand Railway (which is why it isn't updated that often) The Creative Guide to Research, based on my book published in 2000 is basically an archive of news, information and hints for both the online and the shoe-leather" researcher. (Google has taken over everything but there are still good hints there)

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