A short trip to Norman Wells in the Sahtu region of the NWT – oil town, population 800, an hour flight north of Yellowknife. The trip was an attempt to arrive in time to witness the break-up of ice on the mighty Deh Cho (Mackenzie River), but it had happened a week earlier.
All that was left were huge ice pans pushed up on shore, slowly melting into shards of candle ice – a very different sound than candle ice on a lake! The ice slooshed and kmushed and trininkled down. Note the Canadian North plane landing in the left – Norman Wells is a fly-in community once the winter ice roads melt, which means a lot of air traffic – not the most ideal situation for recording delicate ice sounds. In between all the transportation sounds, however, was one of my most favourite soundscapes on Earth.
Drips of water were everywhere as the hot sun was above the horizon from 4:45am to 11:59pm – literally a midnight sun! These drips were recorded with a hydrophone (underwater mic) as they fell into the Mackenzie River from layers of ice beached on the shore.
Two clips combined: a spring robin, and loudly protective raven parents.
An amazing flight on a Cessna 172, 4-seater prop plane. Sounds from the safety briefing, engine start then jumping to the quick take-off, and below are pictures of amazing scenery in the Mackenzie Mountains.
A herd of muskox.
Migrating tundra swans flew directly overhead, calling to each other. (Photo by Rae Braden; the sounds are not these exact swans!)
Ever-present human sounds from helicopters, trucks, planes, and machinery have an amazing sonic impact in this high fidelity environment. This clip is from when a chopper went directly overhead as it prepared to land.