Note: The recording featured above is a “3D binaural soundscape”. Please wear headphones for a profound listening experience that will make you think you’re actually out there, immersed in the natural world!
I always strive to keep my ears well-tuned, in order to perceive uplifting soundscapes that might easily escape notice, but sometimes I am not quite up to the task. Such was the case in late July of 2018.
I met up with two recording friends at one of my favorite wild areas … Shindagin Hollow in upstate New York, near where I live. We were very glad to see one another and immediately began chatting about this and that as we hooked up our recording equipment (they with parabolic reflectors and me with my binaural soundscape microphone). Then we dispersed, heading into the forest in different directions, each hoping to capture something of value.
It was then that I paused for a moment just to take in the scene … a foggy misty morning following a rainy night … the deep forest of hemlocks and hardwoods … drip from leaves in all directions … and subtle bird songs. I took a long slow breath and began to amble down the trail. At that moment, a wood thrush caught my attention, singing in the distance though quite clear. I stopped and listened more attentively … another was sounding off from even farther away, and a very faint one as well, unless I was just imagining it. And did I just hear a hermit thrush, buried in the mix?
Oh my, I almost did not notice … there, right next to the road, a lone ground cricket trilling prominently from the gravel. How could I have missed such an obvious sound? And then I detected a barred owl, hooting way off in the distance. And a mourning dove, just audible, cooing softly time and again.
Suddenly, I shook myself awake, finally aware of the miracle before me! The magic I was hoping to find somewhere down the trail was actually right next to me, fully and elegantly expressed! I did not need to walk down the trail in search of anything because nature was already showering me with an exalted mix, an elixir so pure and powerful that it thrilled my entire being, but only after I became fully receptive to it. Had I kept walking, I would have missed it entirely. Thank you wood thrush for breaking the spell of my self absorption, for unplugging my ears and inviting me into the here and now!
So finally I jumped into action … I quickly set up my soundscape mic, hit record, and prayed that nothing would interrupt this amazing concert so freely given. How careful we must be to keep our minds calm and quiet and our senses free of interference, so that we do not miss the extraordinary beauty that nature showers upon us, sometimes subtly, and often when we least expect it to arrive.
Dear Readers: Would you like to have your picture show up next to your comment, rather than an empty silhouette? Click here to learn how.