There are few things as palette-cleansing, at least when it comes to listening, as a field recording, especially one from deep in an environment that has largely escaped the impact of humans. Late last year, Michael Raphael, who documents his field recording work at sepulchra.com, visited the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples, Florida. He writes:
It is a remarkably beautiful place that features an old growth cypress forest that barely lets light pass through it. It also has a boardwalk that takes you through a healthy chunk of the swamp to areas that are normally be hard to get to. I saw herons, hawks, thrushes, and even a raccoon. I’m not talking about the kind of raccoon that eats your trash, but a real raccoon that is not fat on Whoppers from Burger King.
Of course, even a cordoned off swamp is going to experience the influence of mankind, and this sanctuary proved to be one in name only:
Corkscrew Swamp is pretty damn cool. All except for one thing: noise! All those birds and critters make great sounds, but you can’t hear them that well when planes are constantly flying over head or and heavy traffic is always driving by. Apparently, it didn’t used to be like this, but when Naples became a prime retirement location, air traffic increased and the surrounding roads were widened to accommodate more traffic. I wish I had the opportunity to record there 15 years ago.