Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Winter Downtime

I hope all of you who have been listening to Meditation Getaways have been satisfied with it, and have used these meditations to find inner peace, and discover your latent powers of imagination. I have done 3 episodes so far, and I have many more planned. Please leave me feedback on what you think of the guided meditations, and what changes you'd like to see in upcoming episodes. I try to keep the length of these meditations between 15 and 20 minutes, so that you can listen to them in the middle of the day as a quick break, without taking too much time out of your schedule. The last thing people need in this day and age is ANOTHER COMMITMENT, right?

Here in New England it is the dead of winter, we've had 3 snowstorms and temperatures are steadily falling to teeth-chattering levels this week. Winter is typically a time where my nature recording activities are drastically reduced, which is why you haven't seen an update to the online store in a while. Recording is difficult in winter, because the equipment doesn't enjoy being subjected to below-freezing temps too much, battery capacity is drastically reduced, and wimpy nature recordists don't like freezing their butts off while they wait for a 45-minute winter stream recording to finish. ;)

That being said, recording in winter DOES have its perks: There are much fewer people out in natural areas, so I don't have to go as far out of the way to avoid human interference; The Harley Davidson, the bane of a nature recordist's existence, is completely absent from country roads in winter, which, again, means I don't have to go as far off the beaten path to find quiet spaces to record. At least motorcycle riders also have the same problem with freezing their butts off in winter; The number of recreational airplanes in the sky is also drastically reduced in winter, which means I can now record in wilderness areas that are within a few miles of a small airport (which is most of central Massachusetts, and ironically the parts that are furthest from car traffic); Recreational motorboats are all out of the water, tightly wrapped in their winter plastic-wrap cocoons, which it makes it much easier for me to record near the ocean and near lakes; And a thick blanket of winter snow over everything just seems to have a way of insulating the wilderness from the sounds of society. If you ever want to experience true quiet (the kind of quiet that's so profound that you can hear your own blood running inside your head), stand in the middle of a remote New England pine forest in the dead of winter during a gentle snowfall. You will not hear cars, planes, tranes, animals, wind, or even water (because it's all frozen). But in those cases, the silence is so overwhelming that there's nothing to record!

With all that in mind, I suppose I'll suck it up soon and go out and capture some recordings of some partially frozen winter streams flowing. The sound of water flowing under sheets of ice is really quite amazing. This is also a great time to go and record the Atlantic Ocean, because there'll be no people on the beach and no boats in the water. And as soon as we get a warm spell, I'll go out and record the sound of icicles melting and dripping water rhythmically onto the ground below, which I've been thinking would be quite soothing and mesmerizing.

So, yes, you CAN expect to see and hear something new soon!

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