Languages of Nature

November 31st 2021 Field Recording Excursion, SMNWR

An hour of sunlight left, heading into the wet saw palmetto dominated pine and cypress lined sloughs to set up Sony recorders for overnight field recordings. Lots of migratory birds have made their way to the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge and they are quite vocal after dark & just before sunrise. I enclose the recorders set at 24 bit/96000 (50% gain) in drybags and cover the stereo mics (PIP power lav type, usually MikroUsi or Clippy) with fuzzy wind covers. Hang the drybags on a tree branch, draping mics over branches or using a wire hair tie place around trunk with a binaural mic arrangement. So excited to go back out at sunrise & collect recorders. Not quite like sleeping under the stars but listening to the night sounds of the marsh & flatwoods is healing. Check out bio link for a sampling of field recordings from the marshes of SMNWR #fieldrecording #nature #natureart #audio #SMNWR #Florida #ambience #LanguagesOfNature

Headed into SMNWR wet pine flatwoods out to marshes & set up overnight recording equipment.

Sony PCM recorders in drybags & Clippy 272s with windscreens hanging from a buttonbush at edge of marsh waterline

Coyote Pack Calls, Port Leon Road, SMNWR November 2021 1 a.m.

Coyote Pack reconciliation calls after a midnight hunt in the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. Recorder placed in a mixed hardwood slough in the midst of a wet pine flatwoods. Sony PCM with stereo microphones in dry bags. Waxing moon, light rain. November 2021. The acoustics of the flatwoods are complex. An abundance of water surface creates wave reflection and 'echos' as well as does the fire influenced open midstory under the acres and acres of pines. Note: Coyote calls are usually a signal for the pack to regather or to call juveniles after nighttime excursions and not necessarily to signal a kill.

Night Sounds of SMNWR's HQ Pond.

Here is an hour long audio of freshwater pond night sounds in the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. Audio clip contains Anhinga (their calls are ethereal), Great Blue Heron and Common Gallinule and Catbird, calls post sunset calls from the Headquarters Pond area of the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge on November 12, 2021. Sony PCM recorder with Clippy272 stereo microphones in a double dry bag placed in the fronds of a Sabal palmetto tree approximately 3 meters from the shoreline. Waxing moon, moderate temperatures and scattered light rain.

Bioacoustics, Steady Rain in Slash Pine Flatwoods (Pinus elliottii)

Here is another nature audio recording, this time of a steady but gentle rain in the open slash pine, Pinus elliottii, flatwoods.  

I've found there are a lot of differences in the way raindrops sound depending upon the types of leaf litter the raindrops strike.  For example, the soft sounds of rain falling upon pine needles is in contrast to the sharper striking of raindrops on dried Southern Magnolia leaves, Magnolia grandiflora.

The sounds of a morning rain on slash pine needles relaxes my body and 'washes' away any stress I may be carrying.  As a boy growing up in South Florida I used to climb the small treehouse platform in our backyard oak tree and sit in the rain.  There is just something soothing in those raindrops.

Another interesting tidbit I am learning as I experience nature sounds in addition to those colors and textures and scents I usually notice is that there are two types of 'foreign' noises I can hear regardless of how far out into the swamp or forest I am; the low frequency hum of far off automobile engines (airplanes too) carrying across the tree tops and also the noisy clicking of my mechanical aortic heart valve (no escaping that one).  

Enjoy the hour long rain event across soft beds of slash pine needles!  Sony PCM recorder in dry bag with a set of omni stereo lav mics wrapped in windbubbles. P.S. I am sold on the protective qualities of good lav mic covers such as the windbubbles.  To date my mics have stayed relatively dry with no rain damage even in prolonged rain events as long as they are covered with a good type of windbubbles.  To dry the windbubbles out after a spell in the storm I lay them on a folded up paper towel on my desk.  The paper wicks away the water and overnight they are dry and ready to go.  This too is a good way to discern the quality of your windbubbles for a good pair will not stain the paper towel with color dye.

Enjoy the sounds of rain in the Flatwoods!


More bioacoustics and Florida native plants.  This recording is of raindrops hitting leaves and branches of an American Holly, Ilex opaca.

Recordings with Sony PCM M10 and stereo Clippy lav mics.

I find interesting the sounds/audio/vibrations Florida native plants both generate and also encounter.  

The crispness of the raindrops as picked up by the recorder portrays a different perspective than I had originally imagined; a little sharper than the soft muted sounds I expected.

Bird songs are audible in the background.

Sunrise sounds inside the foliage of the American Holly by the pond.

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