Field Notes: ELM 3.2.2018 – The music in a damp forest

Another night spent at Edith L. Moore. The weather is starting to get better and better. Unfortunately, a cold snap ultimately made this trip another bust for herps. Tonight was completely fogged up. With every breath, I blinded myself as the cloud of moist, condensed air exited my mouth. I found no herps at night, but I was able to stalk a screech owl and get scared by a very ornery raccoon. I guess a good night overall.


With the ground so soaked with rain and dew I was able to walk with hardly a sound. I’m sure that if it were not for my headlamp I could sneak up on every creature in these woods.

The rains had the effect of dampening every sound, but at the same time bringing new music amongst the trees. Every startled songbird brought with it an orchestra of raindrops falling to the ground. They sounded almost rhythmic as they fell into utter chaos. They became a music I could listen to any time of day or night.

A forest soaked with the day’s rain is a philharmonic of sound. Every animal sound is backed by the pittering of water droplets. Every wrong step echoes the sharp crack of a stick. Every rabbit’s leap is muted by the damp leaves beneath their massive feet. Muted sounds mixed with the occasional burst of noise creates a new piece of music for me to listen to. A piece that is never old, never new, but somehow always brings the same calming sense of familiarity.


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