Author Archives: Ben Cote
Cranberry Bog at Night, 5-10-20
Carlisle, MA 01741, 9:45pm 5/10/20
Recorded on a Zoom H5, trimmed and processed in reaper.fm
Device held in hand (hence some unfortunate buffeting—I’ll be purchasing a tripod for future recordings to avoid this)
On the border of my town Chelmsford, MA and Carlisle, MA, there’s an active cranberry bog. Each fall, there’s a wet harvest and the bogs are completely covered in cranberries—a moderately attractive tourist destination in the fall. The rest of the year, this conservation land is used for walking trails and wildlife observation. The full area is 310 acres with rich wildlife—beavers, muskrat, foxes, mink, various bird species, bass, and pickerel.
During the day, you can usually hear people walking and talking, dogs barking, and birds chirping. This recording was taken at night, so the soundscape is quite different. The archetypal sound is the spring peepers’ mating calls, an early sign of warming weather. There are occasional keynote sounds like the hooting of an owl, Canada geese, and what I think may be a red fox. Unfortunately, I’ve heard red foxes more and more the past couple years; their natural habitats are bring destroyed for new housing developments, so they’re moving closer to neighborhoods. There are also some man-made signals in this soundscape. The ticking of my car engine (cooling down after being turned off) is audible, as is a plane going by. There are also buffeting sounds of my fingers adjusting on the recording device. These take away from the soundscape’s immersion and are something I’ll be aware of for future recordings.
Chelmsford, MA at a swamp/bog area
I recorded this a little past midnight on my phone. I slowed down on the side of a road to take the recording, hence the faint clicks and whirring of the car motor. The strongest sound is the chorus of Spring peepers, little frogs whose “chirping” signals the beginning of Spring. Here in Massachusetts, they just started their mating calls this week.