Saturday, July 04, 2009

Hearing Nature

Kapiti Island nature reserve - full of bird life it sounds like much of New Zealand would have souded before humans arrived.

One of less celebrated joys of getting out into nature is the exposure to a world of sounds that are normally either absent from our lives, or drowned out by the city din.

We tend to focus on the visual aspects of natural beauty. But nobody can deny that a wilderness experience is incomplete without the sound of a rushing river, leaves rustling in the breeze, birds calling at dawn, and unidentifiable shuffling noises outside your tent at night. (OK, maybe the last one you could do without...)

The point is, we tend not to focus on sound, but it does affect our moods and our enjoyment of the outdoors. The lack of traffic noise and ringing phones goes a long way to help us relax and let go of our stress.

Some sounds are getting more difficult to locate in today's world. In an effort to share the world's precious sounds, the BBC are trying to piece together a world audio map. The project is called Save Our Sounds, and they're looking for contributions. Not just the sounds of nature, but also things that define different parts of the world like musical instruments, cooking sounds, laughter, etc.

It's about time we started paying more attention to what we hear around us. So next time you're out hiking or otherwise enjoying your surroundings, close your eyes for a few minutes (please stop hiking to do this, or you may walk off a cliff!) and take note of what you can hear around you.

1 comment:

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