The Violet Fern

A Colorful Tale of a Garden in the Making

Soundscapes

4 Comments

A recent Wild Ones newsletter update included a link to an interesting NY Times article entitled The Sound of a Damaged Habitat. The author of the article has recorded the sounds of several habitats before and after logging and/or clearing. This article inspired me to record my own garden in a positive light – not as it declines but as it continues to grow and mature. This blog is a journal of my garden in the making and Eureka! should include sound as well as video and photos. I now wish I had sound recordings from the very beginning!A soundscape is defined as the sounds heard in a particular location, considered as a whole. My soundscape recordings may include a car passing by, a dog barking, a neighbor’s (@!#*) leaf blower as well as the sounds of wildlife in my garden. Surrounding sounds do and will affect wildlife living in my garden. Too noisy to be heard and it may not be worth moving into. On the other hand I read that hummingbirds prefer to nest in a noisy location possibly to mask the sound of nestlings. Sound is another dimension in our gardens. We usually think of wind chimes or a bubbling fountain as a means of masking street sounds. The whisper of grasses or rustling of leaves may transport us to a special place. Consider how important the sounds of wildlife in your garden really are – the dawn chorus of the birds, the buzzing of the bees, crickets chirping. Imagine if these sounds were silenced!

Listen to my backyard garden on an August evening 2012, 9:30 p.m.

I bet it didn’t sound like that in August of 2008.Listening, I thought that maybe, just maybe, a toad or frog of some type moved in. I silently stalked barefoot through the grass path with flashlight in hand and tracked down the call of … a tree cricket. This tiny cricket makes the predominant noise you here in the recording above. He was in the branches of the Flowering Raspberry.

Photo taken from web – photographer unknown. This is how he looked in song.

I think I will mark several dates each year to record the sound in my garden – the crickets in August, the birds early morning in Spring and Fall, bee traffic … it will be interesting to compare the recordings over several years.

I will also make it worthwhile to now and again sit in my garden with eyes closed and focus on the sounds of the garden instead of only the sights. I’ve learned in my quest to become a better bird watcher that you are likely to hear a bird before you see it. Perhaps I may just pick up a curious sound and discover something new in my garden that I may have overlooked.

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Author: Kathy Sturr

Cultivating art, growing soul, and creating plant-based food in the beautiful 1000 Islands, New York and Cedar Key, Old Florida.

4 thoughts on “Soundscapes

  1. So Kathy what did you use to record the sounds…it is fascinating as I do pay attention to those sounds and think about them at different times of the year…peepers in spring is a big one for me too!! And the eery silence in winter.

  2. Kathy, What a delightful idea! -Jean

  3. Interesting post. I do listen to the sounds in my garden. but sometimes feel frustrated as I cannot identify them all – I know it's a cricket, but where are you? A bird – but what one. The biggest frustration is Cicadas – the sound is loud and persistent but I have yet to see one!

  4. Your garden sounds very relaxing! I love to do as you suggest and shut my eyes so as to better focus on the sounds. My garden tends to be quite noisy. At times it does sound like a jungle with all the wild calls. But then there will be the sound of a lawn mower or car engine to bring me back home.

Thank you for joining me in the making of my garden!

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