Friday, April 22, 2011

Crowded songscapes: amazing poet Billy Collins reads my mind re: dawns of yore

Many times I've wished I could travel back through time, before so many extinctions took place a la Homo sapiens, so I could, among other things, hear the full-throated, unfettered spring dawn chorus.

When all the bird species and habitats that existed in North America in 1000 A.D. were still here, and myriad bird songs shouldered into the packed orchestra pit each morning.

The ever amazing Billy Collins, former US Poet Laureate, touches on this longing in Now and Then, here an animated poem. Lovely.

One time Bear and I were impromptu camping, sleeping in bags on the ground in a coniferous forest.

At about 4 a.m. I was wakened from a deep sleep by a nearly deafening collective ROAR of TWEET TWEET, CHIRPA-CHIRPA-CHIRPA, SWEEEEEEETA, SWEEEEEEEEETA, etc.


I'd never heard OF the dawn chorus and it just woke me from the dead.

STUNNING phenomenon if you're in the right place.

So, you lay there, staring into the fuzzy blackness, just HEARING; drowning in birdy cacophony.

An amazing experience I hope never to forget.

Anyhow, it'd be super cool to do that soooo long ago, when there were more species and more individuals in the seamless habitat smorgasbord that was California.

And no freakin' planes muckin' up the soundscape. NICE!

Power to the peeping passerines!



  1. Apparently, I am the link girl; my hubby calls me the human google. Check this out:

  2. I'm not up that early. Is there a second show?

  3. @Katie--wow, that was amazing, and got my cat interested, too. FABULOUS and I'll so be bookmarking that blog to visit more soundscapes. NICE! =)
    So, MB: Apparently you can go to the link Katie provided to enjoy the music after getting your beauty sleep. =)

  4. ps - I picked that particular recording b/c of the "back through time" quality to it. If you click on the About tab, they have a dawn chorus just as you describe. I'm glad you liked it.

  5. Oops, scratch that last ps. They have many different dawn choruses listed on the right.


Cool people write inside rectangles....