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Earth Speaks - "At St. Francois" CS

Regular price $8.00

(Home & Garden)

"The note of the whip-poor-will borne over the fields is the voice with which the moon and moonlight woo me." - Henry David Thoreau

Recorded in the St. Francois Mountains, this is the rhythm of night on the East Fork Black River. At an elevation of approximately 1,106 ft’, we hear the Eastern Whip-poor-will in their insistent call for companionship, and the gentle wind through the trees under the glowing moonlight.

Active at dawn and dusk, and on nights of a full moon, the bird extends an instinctual reach through the dark night skies. More often heard than seen, actual sightings of the Whip-poor-will are rare due to their highy effective camoflauge and strictly nocturnal activity. The birds synchronize nesting with the phase of the moon, have advanced night vision, and hunt insects on the wing.

There is a long history of mythology and folklore surrounding the enigmatic bird. Aristotle is credited with popularizing the myth that members of the nightjar family would suck milk from goats. Stories of the Mohegan tribe say that the Makiawisug, the magical little people of the forest, can transform into Whip-poor-wills to travel through the woods. Folk medicine remedies include a cure for back pain by performing somersaults in time with a Whip-poor-will’s call, and New England legends claim that the Whip-poor-will can sense a person's soul departing, and capture it as it leaves.

Over the centuries, many artists, authors and great thinkers have found inspiration in our mysterious avian friend, with the Whip-poor-will influencing works from James Thurber, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Hank Williams Sr., Robert Frost, H.P. Lovecraft, and William Faulkner, among countless others.

Tragically, the Eastern Whip-poor-will populations have experienced steep declines over the last decade. The birds are currently registered as Threatened under Canada’s Species At Risk Act, and are protected under the Migratory Birds Convention Act.

EARTH SPEAKS is an environmentally focused field recording project, capturing sonic atmospheres as created by the natural world.

"At St. Francois" has been presented here as a research tool in sonic conservation, and to act as an aid in focus and relaxation. We hope that you are able to incorporate these sounds into your own personal practice.

All proceeds for physical and digital sales will be donated to American Bird Conservancy, a non-profit foundation dedicated to conserving wild birds and their habitats throughout the Americas.

Real time duplicated to recycled cassette with printed labels featuring hand-stamped blue ink detail. Each copy comes packaged with glossy full color J-card featuring nightime location photography, printed in a hand-numbered edition of 22 copies.

Full program repeats on each side to preserve continuity.