Now Playing: Winter is a very quiet time at Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. Having some time off during the Christmas holidays, I made a trip up to see and hear what was stirring. The leather leaf ash and mesquite trees have lost their leaves, and the salt grass and reeds are brown. A few raptors soar over head scanning for a meal from inattentive prey. Occasionally a shrike, perched on a barren limb, dives to snatch a lizard which was happily warming himself on a sun drenched rock. Life around the ponds is quiet, as well. You can hear a few coots, some gulls, mallards and an occasional blast from a hunter’s shotgun. That’s correct, waterfowl, dove and quail hunting is allowed on the refuge, in accordance with state hunting regulations. NWR’s exist within the department of U.S. Fish and Wildlife, and, per their website, the federal agency seeks to preserve America’s hunting tradition and to utilize hunting as a wildlife management tool.
What can be heard now at the Ash Meadows visitor’s center is my first CD of soundscape recordings. At the request of the staff, I recently finished a 73 minute disc of sounds recorded around the refuge. Extended versions of all of the audio clips that I have posted to date on this blog can heard providing background ambiance to the center. For $5.95 you can purchase your very own copy, and all proceeds benefit the refuge.