Have you ever heard the saying ‘a picture is worth a thousand words?’ Here’s a new twist for you – if a picture is worth a thousand words then a soundscape is worth a thousand pictures. That quote is from renowned naturalist, Bernie Krouse, who pioneered the concept of soundscaping 50 years ago!
In Lanark County, the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust (MMLT) is using cutting-edge soundscape technology to catalogue and monitor wildlife diversity while letting the casual observer in on the orchestra of sound going on around them. It’s surround-sound for the natural environment!
If you’re not sure what soundscaping is, here’s the scoop: Soundscaping uses technology to bring out the sounds of nature that often go undetected, like the chirping, buzzing, whirring and calling of the insects and wildlife. Imagine being able to identify how many and which birds, insects and animals are all around you!
In 2014, a local bushcraft expert, Chad Clifford, recorded soundscapes at each of the Seven Wonders of Lanark County! These recordings are available on his Wilderness Rhythms website and offer a unique look at the music of nature found at Lanark County’s most popular places.
Soundscaping is not an activity that you can find just anywhere – MMLT is one of only a handful of places in Ontario that possesses the equipment needed to soundscape. It’s no coincidence that four of MMLT protected nature reserves are found right here in Lanark County; known for its rugged terrain and stunningly beautiful natural environments, it’s the perfect place to experience nature as you’ve never heard it before!
Visit one of MMLT nature reserves and see for yourself how much you’re missing from what you hear in nature. Have a group? Book in advance and bring them along and you can try out the bio-acoustic monitoring equipment for yourself! Soundscape equipment is also typically available at MMLT events, or by booking a group tour in advance.
Try on the headset of the bio-acoustic amplification system and discover the full orchestra of nature! Hear a cricket chirping, a thrush singing, or the call of a deer to its young and prepare to be amazed at the complex chorus you’ll hear. But remember, the opportunity to experience nature in this cutting-edge way is only available in Lanark County!