Periodical Cicadas – Brood V

photo of Magicicada septendecim © Lang Elliott

During my recent recording expedition, I made a quick swing through eastern Ohio to experience the Periodical Cicada emergence … that of Brood V, which occurs every seventeen years. There are three species involved, including: Magicicada septendecim, Magiciada cassini, and Magicicada septendecula

Whip-poor-will-a-thon

Whip-poor-will  © Wil Hershberger

During my recent recording expedition, I spent the night next to a swamp in Land Between the Lakes, Kentucky. I rose promptly at 4am in the morning, jumped into my car, and headed for a favorite spot around ten miles away. I had only driven a mile or two when I suddenly came upon a Whip-poor-will, its eyes shining red in the middle of the dirt road. He flew as I got out of the car, but soon began singing from the surrounding forest. I grabbed my gear and walked in his direction …

Barred Owl Reunion

Maumee Wetlands

During my recent recording expedition, I spent the night camped next to a lake in the Charles C. Beam Wilderness Area near Maumee, Indiana. At 3am, a Barred Owl began calling nearby and soon another answered in the distance. Then, to my absolute delight, the two met up in the forest and participated in “caterwauling,” an excited exchange of hoots and hollers that I believe to be a celebration of family life. How could they not be having fun?

Hermit Thrush and Drip

hermit thrush habitat

What could be more relaxing than listening to a Hermit Thrush singing after a rain, with water dripping from the trees? Let me know if you are affected by this recording as I am. Such an exquisite soundscape featuring a voice that is at once ethereal, tender, and gently caressing … the voice of solitude, of a shy and hidden bird of secluded forests … “O spheral, spheral … O holy, holy.”

Green Frog Stutter-Fest

Green Frog calling

Yesterday morning at 12:30 am, I recorded Green Frogs at a small woodland pond. With the temperature in the high 60’s, it was a laid-back performance, accentuated at times by the trills of a lone Gray Treefrog (with others calling in the distance). My intention was to present the soundscape on my blog as a slow-paced, meditative experience. But then something unexpected happened …

Mockingbird Nightsong

Gibbous Moon

The Northern Mockingbird is well-known for its habit of singing at night. What most folks do not know is that the night-singers are primarily unmated males, which may sing almost continuously both day and night (especially when the moon is bright), in their quest to locate a mate. As luck would have it, I was able to record such a night singer during a recent visit to Virginia …

Zen Frogscape

habitat photo

The night before leaving on a weeklong journey, I drove to a nearby wildlife refuge to see what the frogs and toads were up to, knowing full well that changes were in the making and the amphibian soundscape would likely be quite different upon my return. I really didn’t plan on doing any recording. I just wanted to pay my respects to nature before leaving town. Little did I anticipate the wonderful mix of sound I would stumble upon …

Owl Reverberations

Moon Scene

Everyone loves owls. On the night of May 20 with the moon nearly full, I drove to a nearby wildlife refuge in search of Gray Treefrogs. The frogs weren’t calling, but at one stop I was treated to an amazing performance by what I presumed to be a “family” of Barred Owls. How lucky can you get? …

Gentle Peepers & Wood Thrush

Ladyslipper Pond

Last night I slept under the stars in the forest next to Ladyslipper Pond. At dawn I recorded the calls of Spring Peepers set against the gentle gurgling of water. And then I went into the forest and recorded a Wood Thrush, singing as an intermittent breeze excited the forest canopy. I am so grateful that I spent the night under the stars and returned home with these pleasant soundscapes, living mementos of my sojourn in the woods …

Moo-Scape

cows in meadow

During the third week of May, farmers release their cows into the meadows at Finger Lakes National Forest. As you might suspect, their appearance can have a drastic effect on the natural soundscape. This morning provided a case in point. I arrived at Willow Pond at first light, with the intention of wandering the edge of marsh and meadow in search of an interesting mix of sound. I was expecting to hear some moos from the cows, but not a massive group performance lasting nearly ten minutes …

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