Late summer is a quiet time in the north woods, so our expectations were low. Over the course of our trip, we camped at three different locations, setting out multiple microphones at dusk and then letting them run through the night. For the most part, the results were disappointing, with very little happening at night (other than cricket trills and chirps) or at dawn (other than spurious bird calls and red squirrel chatter). Recording-wise, our trip seemed destined to be almost a complete bust, but then something wonderful happened on the last night of our journey …
On the advice of friends who live in the Adirondacks, we set up camp near Helldiver Pond, deep in the Moose River Plains about ten miles south of Inlet (see map below). I placed one mic at the edge of the pond, another next to a nearby stream and a third one in deep forest. That night, we slept soundly, unaware of any significant “sound events.” In the morning, feeling rather discouraged, we quickly broke camp, gathered up the mics and then drove home.
That afternoon in my studio, I surveyed the results of the previous night. I found nothing of significance at the forest and stream locations, but when I viewed my Helldiver Pond recording using special sound editing software, I noticed some loud signals at around 1am, and I quickly zoomed-in for a better look. And what a delightful surprise! In the middle of the night, my mic had captured a stunning Coyote concert, by far my best from the Adirondack region. Hallelujah … the sweet taste of success!
Note: The recording featured in the video below is “3D binaural soundscape”. Please wear headphones for a spacious and immersive listening experience.
Coyotes sounding off in the middle of the night at Helldiver Pond in the Adirondack Mountains near Inlet, New York. 1 am, 24 August 2021. © Lang Elliott.
What I like most about this recording is the way it unfolds, with sporadic frog and water sounds followed by a single coyote giving a series of five mournful, drawn-out howls, very wolf-like in character. A listener might conclude it is a loner, perhaps in search of its pack. But then, after about thirty seconds, several other coyotes join in with excited, higher-pitched wavering calls and yappy barks, with occasional overlapping howls (a pattern very typical of coyotes). Finally, the coyote performance comes to a close, with a drawn-out echo (reverberation tail) that extends to the far reaches of the pond.
At the very end, one is treated to the nearby chuckles of two green frogs followed by a watery plink and soft plunk, which come from the pond’s edge only several feet away. And let’s not forget the crickets, trilling and chirping throughout in the background. Such a pleasing combination of sounds, with great reverberation, a wide sound stage, and striking depth from near to far.
So, my fair listeners, I’m curious as to what you think of this recording from the Adirondack wilds. So please join in the conversation by leaving your comment below.