Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sounds Overheard: Parking Lot Wild Life


Once the sun sets nature can often be heard from parking lots of such places as Bahia Honda State Park, in the Florida Keys, photographed in December 2012.

Last month after a long day kayaking in the Florida Keys, I left my camp site close to midnight and drove to the end of the road at Bahia Honda State Park. All the day visitors were long gone, I had the crashing waves on beautiful Sand Spur Beach all to myself, and I stumbled along with my tape recorder by starlight. Just steps from the car I picked up a lone cricket in my head phones, fiddling away underneath the concrete parking bumper, giving me a pretty cool recording right in the parking lot. I realized that I've often captured the sounds of wild life from parking lots, often in very urban settings.

Examples of wild life recorded from parking lots and urban settings: 0:00 frogs in motel parking lot, 0:25 cricket under concrete bumper, 0:46 vultures have kerfuffle, 1:12 mocking bird in city. iPhone & iPad friendly link to 1 min 48 sec MP3. 

I was attending a workshop in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, last year, and after a long evening of slaving over a hot video editing workstation, I returned to my hotel wedged between a busy ring road and a strip mall. A wonderful sound caught my attention, what seemed like a million croaking frogs were jamming in a living room sized water retention pond alongside the parking lot. I just had to make a recording.

In the clip above I also have the sound of turkey vultures flapping and fussing over a bit of road kill in a parking lot in Everglades National Park, and a male mockingbird over stoked on testosterone in the middle of the night alongside my drive way in Miami. Listen for the passing car with boom box.

During my assignments and travels I've been recording the sounds I overhear, and many don't have supporting photographs or stories. This occasional series will be my excuse to share my audio orphans, these Sounds Overheard. Please also visit my Miami commercial photography portfolio.