More recently in my time here at Bear Brook, I’ve found myself listening intently to all of the sounds that can be heard in the different environments around the park. I’ve recently had some hearing troubles and the whole experience has given me a new appreciation for the different instruments in Bear Brook’s symphony. So step away with me from the sounds of the campground or sounds of the city and into the woods to see what different things we can hear.
First up, have one of the many marsh areas in the park. The chorus of crickets is almost overwhelming, an almost metallic sound that fills the air. As I walk past the marsh, I can even see the crickets hopping along the road avoiding the approach of my feet. Stopping to look at the water, I see that it is still and silent. There are a few birds calling but it’s hard to pick out much above the roar of the crickets. As I move from the marsh, into the woods, they quiet a little.
Now, the loudest thing is me. The crunch of my feet on the gravel and dirt road dominates over the quiet of the woods. As I stop to listen, there are a few birds calling, different than the ones I’d heard at the marsh. As I continue further down the road, finding myself in the midst of a murder of crows. I hear swoop of their wings pressing on the air as they fly from branch to branch. They call softly to each other, perhaps warning of my approach. They continue down the road as I turn onto Broken Boulder Trail. The sound of my feet softens as I transition to walking on soft pine needles.
Walking down the trail, I pass a brook and hear the faint sound of water running and the plop of a frog jumping into the water. I turned around just in time to see the ripples in the water from it’s dive. Even fewer crickets are calling out here. As I continue on the faint chirping of birds can be heard over the sound of my steps. I came across a clearing where Red Pines had recently been cut due to an infestation of Red Pine Scale. I hear sounds from their past, their falling, as I look at stumps and logs on the ground.
I continue on my way to Smith Pond, walking down to the edge of the trail. On the water, the familiar sound of crickets coats my ears. A wood duck flaps and glides over the water, probably startled by my appearance on the shore. A few bubbles pop on the surface of the water. Dragonflies buzz and zoom over and around me. I stay for a few minutes, but not long enough. As I make my way back new sounds and some of the same sounds greet me as I wander through the woods.