My grandson is two and half years old. And as such, like most toddlers, is challenged when it comes to language skills. He has pet names for people and things. He differentiates between two sets of grandparents by the names of our dogs. Hence my name is “Papa Belle”, and his other grandfather is “Papa Tess”. His great-grandfather does not have a dog but he does have chickens. Therefore his name is “Papa click click”, my grandson imitating the sound the chickens make.

Onomatopoeia is a word that imitates a sound. Such common words in English are “meow” or “roar”.  This usage is common through many different cultures, although the word they use will not be the same as ours.

In March and April of this year (2012) I left a long-term continuously running recorder out in the woods at a witnesses property in Edgar County, Illinois near the Illinois-Indiana border. The recorder was positioned 12 feet off the ground in an open-platform tree blind.  The witnesses farm is in a remote area, there are scattered farms but very few people.  The witness had removed all gamecams from his property six months earlier.

A typical deer tree stand somewhat similar to the one in Edgar County, Illinois

On the 2nd of April, 2012, I recorded the most unusual sound. Immediately upon hearing it I thought “camera shutter”.  Others will think something else. I spoke with the witness, who was adamant that no strangers ever trespass and cut through his woods or pastures.  And once again he maintained that there were no gamecams on his property.

The sound was close, at least within 10 feet from the recorder.

I can not tell you what made that sound, but I am left with this thought –

Was this one of the “locals” passing close by the tree stand? Did they use an onomatopoeiac word to describe what they mistook for a gamecam, my recorder sitting in the tree stand.”   Was the “clicking and motor sound” heard on the sound clip their vocal term for a gamecam?

Click here to listen to this sound clip:  Tree Stand Sound


And here is a sound clip of an older 35 mm film  camera : 35 mm Camera Shutter