Hickory Mound Meadow © Lang ElliottDawn chorus at Hickory Mound Meadow, featuring the gurgle of a temporary brook after rain. Recorded around 7am on 10 May 2016 in Finger Lakes National Forest near Trumansburg, New York. © Lang Elliott.

Spring is just around the corner! Here in upstate New York, Jefferson’s Salamanders migrated less than a week ago, the woodpeckers are drumming like crazy and I heard a cardinal singing in my yard this very morning. How exciting this is! Just to prime my spring-centric pump, I spent an hour this morning rummaging through some of my favorite springtime soundscapes from previous years and I soon uncovered a true delight, a delicious taste of things soon to come …

I’ve named my recording “Hickory Mound Meadow” and it documents an early May dawn chorus at a favorite location in nearby Finger Lakes National Forest. The photographs says it all … a small, temporary stream is draining water after a rain the night before. Just beyond the willow patch is a wetland and to the right (not visible) is a prominent mound, perhaps an old root cellar, at the site of an long-vanished homestead. A huge hickory rises from the top of the mound.

I think you’ll agree this is a lovely soundscape. The constant gurgle of the freshet, slightly to the left of center, acts as nature’s drone. Birds sound off in all directions. Listen for the songs of House Wren, Northern Cardinal, Baltimore Oriole, Yellow Warbler, Red-winged Blackbird, Mourning Dove, and more. There’s even a Pileated Woodpecker drumming in the distance toward the end.

Please drink in the beauty and rest assured that soundscapes like this will soon enliven wild nature, cleansing one’s spirit and soothing one’s mind. The voice of nature is a tonic, a primal elixir that has the power to purify and transform one’s outlook on the world. How can one remain negative in the presence of such beauty?

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