Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Nature Nerd Wednesdays

Welcome to Nature Nerd Wednesdays, your mid-week nature break to reconnect with the calming, refreshing, and inspiring effects of nature. Take a deep breath and enjoy...

Saint Edward State Park - this cathedral is always filled with birdsong! Lainey Piland photo

Last week, I was bustling around the house doing chores on a hectic day and paused to open a window and let some fresh air in. I turned to walk away, but the trilling call of a song sparrow surprised me and called me back to the window. With the cool air blowing in over my cheeks, I squinted through the screen to try and locate the cheerful bird in the cedar trees across the street from my house. A few minute's searching yielded no sight of the bird, so I left the window to return to my chores, more relaxed now, my lungs filled with fresh air that flowed straight to my veins and my heart filled with the hope of springtime carried on the few notes of a song sparrow's call.

So often, the sounds of nature are just the thing to pull us from our inward-focused thoughts and draw us back into the world around us. We're awakened to the small sounds and tiny details that so easily escape our notice as we chase the busy-ness of life, and are again able to find a sense of peace.

I recently discovered my new favorite website, called Nature Soundmap. Here, you can listen to nature sounds from all over the world. Want to listen to mud boiling in Yellowstone? The sounds of the Amazon rainforest? An Emperor Penguin colony in Antarctica? You can hear them all on Nature Soundmap.

Let's take a listen to something more familiar and closer to home: the sounds of the Olympic rainforest, including the Pacific chorus frog, waves on the beach, and the dawn chorus of birds:

That sure tunes up the sense of hearing, doesn't it? Are there any sounds on the map that speak to you or bring back memories? This week, be sure to open some windows in your home or office, or take a walk around the block with your ears attentive to the sounds of nature around you.

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