Meadow After Rain

It is dawn in late May in a shrubby meadow in the rolling hills of upstate New York. A violent storm passed through in the night and now light rain falls. Numerous gurgling rivulets course through the meadow, draining excess water from the downpour.

As dark clouds recede and blue sky appears, male songbirds of many species burst into song, excitedly proclaiming their territories and filling the meadow and surrounding forest with their music. A Ruffed Grouse also sounds off, its thumping drums periodically erupting from the meadow’s edge. We slowly breathe in the sonic landscape … one of nature’s finest symphonies, pouring forth in this wet meadow at dawn!

The number of songbirds overwhelms us, but we are fairly certain that we hear Mourning Dove, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Warbler, Field Sparrow, Baltimore Oriole, Alder Flycatcher, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and American Crow. We also notice a lone field cricket, trilling softly from the tall grass.

— Recorded May 26, 2014 at 6am. Overgrown meadow near Caroline, New York. By Lang Elliott.

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