I have been walking along a path in the wooded canyon at Reed College. It crosses and recrosses a clear, shallow, spring-fed stream. I stopped at one of the low bridges to listen. Poets speak of brooks babbling, but what I heard was certainly not babble; the water continued a large number of distinct conversations with the parts of its bed.
What did these conversations mean? Upsteam from the bridge there was hissing among the trailing twigs and leaves. Closer was a swish where a constriction made the water speed up for an instant. It gurgled over some rocks and produced a pouring sound as it flowed over a mossy tree limb. There were glupping noises, and I am quite certain the stream chuckled. That is another poetic notion, but this brook definitely chuckled. It could have been that the sunbeams embroidering changeable patterns on the surface tickled, or perhaps the brook was simply happy to be going along ... as was I.
A bit farther along, I came upon a small waterfall. Here the haste of the water produced a loud hiss, with sounds of spray and splash.
I also watched a little woodpecker mining a dead tree for lunch, but that is another story.