A few times a year I like to just sit and listen to the world around me. My backyard stretches up to a hayfield, so I am usually surrounded by the sounds of nature. But town is less than three miles away as the crow flies, so sometimes I hear sounds from the village: dogs barking, people talking in their backyards.
A couple weeks ago I slogged up the snowy logging road. Half-way to the field, I stopped to listen. I spent five minutes just listening to the sounds surrounding me. This is what I heard:
I cut a cereal box to make a stiff sound map that I could write on outdoors. Then I drew myself at the middle, and an arrow to show what direction the sounds were. I can see now that I should have drawn the nearby sounds (leaves) closer to me, leaving the edge for distant sounds.
- Cut a circle from a cardboard box
- take a sharp pencil with you
- go somewhere and sit (or if it's very snowy, stand) for at least 5 minutes
- draw yourself at the center and note direction you are facing
- write the date, time of day, and location
- note down what you hear and from which direction. closer sounds should be closer to you on the map, with distant sounds farther away.