Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Winter Update #7: Ventriloquism

Feb 9, Arnold Arboretum, Jamaica Plain, MA
clear and very cold

Today's bird was a ventriloquist nuthatch! I spent about 10 minutes turning this way, then that way, and I swear, no matter which direction I turned it sounded like the bird was behind me.

Was it some wierd acoustical property of frozen-over snow that caused the sound to bounce so confusingly? The thing is, the other bird sounds were clearly directional. This is the most confused I've ever been while following my ears, and the silliest I've ever felt, traversing back and forth across a 10 meter square area in utter confusion.

Here you can hear my elusive prey, and my crunchy footsteps. Luckily the snow has developed a bit of crust, so I mostly was not sinking to my knees as on previous mornings - though the occasional unexpected drop did occur.

Today's sketch is a groove based on the occasional footstep breaking through snow.


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