Wild Mountain Echoes http://www.wildmountainechoes.com Connecting to nature through sounds Wed, 17 Sep 2014 17:38:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Sugar Bats http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/2014/09/sugar-bats/ http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/2014/09/sugar-bats/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 16:19:05 +0000 http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/?p=2367 Among the long list of interesting creatures that call southern Arizona home are a couple of species of nectar-feeding bats, the Mexican Long-tongued bat and the Lesser Long-nosed bat.  Unlike most bats that feed on insects, nectar-feeding bats feed on the nectar of large flowers of cacti.  They are well-known to most southern Arizonans that […]

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Spotty rain and lonely toads http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/2014/08/spotty-rain-lonely-toads/ http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/2014/08/spotty-rain-lonely-toads/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 17:25:03 +0000 http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/?p=2263 Thunderstorms are the ultimate in chaotic systems, and this years monsoon has been a good example of that.   Some parts of southern Arizona have received plenty of rain and are green and lush.  Others have received too much rain too fast, resulting in flash floods.  And other places, like my neighborhood, have been watching these […]

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El lobo, part 2: Greenfire’s Ghost http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/2014/08/greenfires-ghost/ http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/2014/08/greenfires-ghost/#comments Tue, 05 Aug 2014 17:04:34 +0000 http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/?p=1972 In mid-June of this year, I continued on my quest to record the howls of lobos (Mexican gray wolves).  This time I headed for the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in east-central Arizona, to the wild country along the west fork of the Black River. I met up with Jean Ossorio (who actually planned the trip) as […]

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El lobo, part 1: Restoring balance http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/2014/07/lobo-restoring-balance/ http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/2014/07/lobo-restoring-balance/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 18:10:52 +0000 http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/?p=1956 Humans have had a long, uncomfortable relationship with wolves.  Revered, feared, hated, and persecuted to within an inch of extinction, their survival to this day says more about their resilience than our ability to understand and tolerate what we are now learning to be one of the most important predators in the northern hemisphere. We […]

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“What are you going to do with those recordings?” http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/2014/07/going-recordings/ http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/2014/07/going-recordings/#comments Tue, 08 Jul 2014 15:22:23 +0000 http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/?p=1906 It’s a sad irony that one of our most important senses, hearing, is so taken for granted.  So much information about the world around us comes in through our ears, but we place such precedence on what comes through our eyes.  We are very visual creatures, granted, with an ability to see color and detail, […]

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Sky Island Spring http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/2014/06/sky-island-spring/ http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/2014/06/sky-island-spring/#comments Tue, 24 Jun 2014 15:52:48 +0000 http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/?p=1915 Close to the US-Mexico border, where New Mexico and Arizona meet Chihuahua and Sonora, lies one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots.  More than a dozen small mountain ranges rise from the surrounding desert, and are often referred to as “Sky Islands”, as their forested slopes appear to be islands in a sea of grassland and […]

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Swamp coolers and cicadas http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/2014/06/swamp-coolers-cicadas/ http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/2014/06/swamp-coolers-cicadas/#comments Tue, 10 Jun 2014 15:59:33 +0000 http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/?p=1872 Summer has officially arrived in southern Arizona, even if the calendar says it’s still a couple of weeks off.  Daytime temperatures in Tucson have exceeded 100 Fahrenheit for the last several days, and are expected to stay above 100 for the foreseeable future. One of the few things that makes this kind of heat tolerable […]

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Underwater soundscapes http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/2014/05/underwater-soundscapes/ http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/2014/05/underwater-soundscapes/#comments Tue, 20 May 2014 15:35:39 +0000 http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/?p=1845 The pond looked quiet, it’s glassy surface only broken by an occasional insect skimming its surface or a swallow dipping down for a drink or to pick up an insect.   But when I dropped an underwater microphone (hydrophone) into the water, I was shocked at the strange and diverse noises coming from the pond.   Water […]

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Listening to prairie dogs http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/2014/05/listening-prairie-dogs/ http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/2014/05/listening-prairie-dogs/#comments Wed, 07 May 2014 22:03:56 +0000 http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/?p=1737 As readers of my blog know, I like squirrels.  I professed my love for them in a previous post.  In this post, I want to go into greater depth on one of the most socially complex squirrels, the prairie dog.  There are 5 species of prairie dogs in North America, although most detailed studies have […]

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Where the water ends http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/2014/04/water-ends/ http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/2014/04/water-ends/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 15:39:45 +0000 http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/?p=1640 Just east of Tucson, a collection of small creeks come together to form Pantano Wash, which winds its way through Tucson before eventually joining the Gila River, which flows across the state to the Colorado River.  Most of these little creeks only flow during summer floods or occasionally during a wet winter.  However, one of […]

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Urbanizing the soundscape http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/2014/04/urbanizing-soundscape/ http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/2014/04/urbanizing-soundscape/#comments Tue, 08 Apr 2014 15:23:43 +0000 http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/?p=1612 An interesting article came across my desk recently.  Entitled, “Ecological homogenization of urban USA,” it presented some recent research on landscape structure within some of the major US cities, compared to their surrounding ecosystems.  In general, there is a great similarity among neighborhood landscapes, whether they are in Phoenix, Baltimore, Miami, or Boston.  The “idealized” […]

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Great Horned Owls http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/2014/03/great-horned-owls/ http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/2014/03/great-horned-owls/#comments Tue, 18 Mar 2014 15:44:42 +0000 http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/?p=1587 As winter fades to spring here in the Sonoran Desert, the evenings have been punctuated with the calls of Great Horned Owls.  I’ve tried a couple of times to record them, but their voices are often drowned out by the barking dogs and vehicles. But a few nights ago, I heard a pair calling loudly […]

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Singing Trees http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/2014/03/singing-trees/ http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/2014/03/singing-trees/#comments Tue, 04 Mar 2014 15:12:40 +0000 http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/?p=1520 I ran across a video recently that I had to share.  Since this blog is about trying to get people to pay more attention to their sonic environment, I try to highlight interesting, relevant, or mood-enhancing sounds.  This sound fits the bill. Bernie Krause is a nature sound recordist, who focuses on recording and documenting […]

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Bosque del Apache http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/2014/02/bosque-del-apache/ http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/2014/02/bosque-del-apache/#comments Tue, 18 Feb 2014 15:36:08 +0000 http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/?p=1510 I’ve been hearing about Bosque del Apache for years: this wondrous wildlife refuge in the center of New Mexico that hosts thousands of wintering snow geese, sandhill cranes, other waterfowl, and even a few dozen whooping cranes.  The sight and sounds of tens of thousands of snow geese taking off at dawn as they leave […]

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Winter’s quiet http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/2014/02/winters-quiet/ http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/2014/02/winters-quiet/#comments Tue, 04 Feb 2014 23:45:22 +0000 http://www.wildmountainechoes.com/?p=1486 Soundscapes are constantly changing, from moment to moment, season to season.  In the temperate zones, winters are much quieter than summers, as many of the birds have disappeared to their wintering areas and the insects have stopped singing.  The leaves of the deciduous trees have fallen off, quieting the ever-present rustling that we don’t even […]

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