Texas Hollow Pothole © Lang Elliott Wind in the hemlocks with various songbirds and loud canada geese near beginning and at end. 5:30am, 8 May 2016, Texas Hollow State Forest near Burdett, New York. © Lang Elliott. This is a 3D binaural recording: please wear headphones for a realistic spatial effect.

Texas Hollow Pothole Pond - aerial view

Aerial view of pothole pond

Sunday morning was cloudy and breezy and I almost decided to sleep-in. But my inner voice would have nothing of it: “Lang, you will not experience nature immersion unless you immerse yourself in nature, so get your lazy butt out of bed!” “Yes, sir” I replied and pulled myself out of bed at … you guessed it, once again at 4am … and made my way to Texas Hollow State Forest, about a 45-minute drive from my home.

The highlight of Texas Hollow is a natural pothole pond, two-thirds of which is a sphagnum-filled bogland. I placed my soundscape microphone among tall hemlocks at the pond’s edge and then walked a few hundred yards away to relax on a soft bed of hemlock needles (no, I didn’t go to sleep!). Here’s what I had to say (pardon my croaky voice, which I think is beginning to improve):

After about a hour, I retrieved my recording setup and eventually made my way back to my studio. I was pleased with what I heard. Not only did I capture the wind in the hemlocks, but also the soundings of spring peepers, a small selection of songbirds (see list below), and the loud honking of Canada Geese. My morning was not wasted! If listened-to correctly (with headphones or earbuds), you should have a reasonably high-quality immersive nature sound experience.

I’m curious what everyone will think of this recording. In the old days, I wouldn’t have bothered to record on such a breezy morning, but I rather like the result. Here in my studio, I’ve been playing it for about a half hour and haven’t gotten bored yet.

Songbird List:

Swamp Sparrow (trills, throughout; good example at 2:55)
Common Yellowthroat (songs, throughout; good example at 4:00)
Song Sparrow (near beginning; good example at 4:13)
Red-winged Blackbird (songs throughout – good example at 5:02 – plus high whistles and metallic notes)

Note: Always remember that I have high frequency hearing loss, so be sure to let me know if I’ve made any mistakes or if you hear the sounds of other species.

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