Friday, January 29, 2021

Noisy Monster

I'm fascinated by the sounds of the lake ice moving and shifting when the temperature changes over the day. It's eerie to hear a gurgle, a groan, a boom, or a crash when everything is seemingly still. There's nothing to see, but something eventful is happening, invisible and potent-sounding. Some days it's so loud, I can hear it from inside my sunroom, but by the time I've got warmly dressed and out there, it's quiet again.

The loudness and unexpectedness of the wails draws me to the lake edge frequently, and I wait, with video running, to capture the chorus of grunts, sighs and belches. I would love to share what the 'belly of the beast' sounds like, because it's quite special, but I struggle to start recording in time. The sounds materialize suddenly, unpredictable and ephemeral, and they're oh, so captivating. And waiting in sub-zero temperatures without my gloves on (to be able to operate my phone), and eyes streaming with cold, means I don't last long each time. And some days, there are overriding sounds of machinery or dogs or crows that are closer and louder than the monster's chorus. 

The cracking sounds are much more dramatic, sounding like a tree crashing down, but it's as calm as can be at the surface, where I'm sitting quietly, not moving - it's quite an eerie experience. It's like a thunderstorm, but below the surface, not above. Or maybe like someone stuck beneath the ice, and knocking to get out! Sometimes it's like a toilet flushing in the distance, and at other other times, like gunshots!

Follow the link at the top so you can get to the video, or click here:

Turn your volume up to appreciate the gurgles and gloops because some are quite distant

Trying to record the lake's throaty voice has been frustrating to say the least, but my quest has also meant that I've been able to be there to hear and appreciate it many more times than usual, despite not being quick enough to record the full gamut of weird and magical sounds. At one point, I even tried generating shockwaves myself, by holding onto a branch and smashing one foot down onto the surface a few times, and then immediately recording what transpires, in anticipation of something substantial, but still no luck! I couldn't make it happen - reminds me that I'm not a force of nature, after all! Click here:


Shelley Burbank said...

Ice really is fascinating. Good post!

Deb said...

Thank you Shelley. It truly is! I can't get enough of it.