Norman Wells

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.

IMG_4670 Large Ice Fall

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.

IMG_4661 Beached Ice and Carmen

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.

IMG_4738 Robin3 IMG_4744 Raven on Satelite Dish2

Two clips combined: a spring robin, and loudly protective raven parents.

IMG_4776 Cessna 172 Pilot Diter 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.

IMG_4821 Grizzly Bears Two grizzly bears!IMG_4823 Moose Two moose – can you find them?

IMG_4848 Muskox

A herd of muskox.

Tundra Swans Rae

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.

IMG_4721 Helicopter over ice