The Peskowesk release has been edited to merge seamlessly from one habitat into another, at 60 minutes long, you are taken on a continuous intimate journey through this Northern landscape
This new release by Wild Earth Voices takes you on a journey in the Early Spring through the sounds of the Acadian Forest of Nova Scotia. Set in one of the most pristine areas of Eastern Canada, Kejimkujik National Park, Mark traveled here, with permission from parks administration recording the natural soundscape for almost a week.
Mark worked in the area of Peskowesk Lake through rain and wind recording what is undoubtedly one of the loveliest times of year in the Acadian Forest. The 3 minute sample above gives the listener a sense of this 10 track album, from dawn, following the morning chorus in wetlands, forests and river valleys we take a journey into the Spring Wilderness of Nova Scotia.
Peskowesk Track Listing
Tatuje’ieg, How Old
1. Recorded near a giant erratic on the shores of Minards Bay in Kejimkujik National Park, Nova Scotia in the Spring of 2012. We are listening in the pre-dawn, still dark, with a hint of morning on the Eastern horizon as the forest awakes. A wondrously spiritual place that lights fires in your soul. A traditional portage of the Mi’kmaq peoples for thousands of years wanders past this huge boulder, set here in the last ice age. This is wilderness and has been for millennium, asking us the question, “how old”.
Across The Tree Tops
2. We move from the pre dawn now into a rising wind and the early dawn chorus near Peskowesk Lake in Kejimkujik National Park. The early Spring migrating birds have arrived and are establishing their territory in early May. An overnight rain still drips from the surrounding Acadian Forest as the wind rushes in from the lake and over the tree tops in this silent forest, deep in the Wilderness. The Ovenbird, Yellow Rumped Warbler, Golden Crowned Kinglet, Black Capped Chickadee, Evening Grosbeak and Blue Jay can all be heard in this recording.
Woven By The Wind
3. The wind is a huge part of the Eco-system here, you can always hear it in Spring, whistling through the still bare branches of the forest as it comes off of the lake. Some gusts you can hear coming from hundreds of meters away, rushing, like a freight train at times, over top of you and off into the distance, weaving its influence into everything it touches.
The Peskowesk Brook
4. Flowing out of Peskowesk Lake is the brook by the same name. In early May, in the unsettled weather of the time spent here, Peskowesk Brook can be heard from the surrounding forests in the distance when the water is high, giving an audible depth to the soundscape. An important migratory route for Brook Trout in the National Park, the area is monitored by volunteers tagging the Trout in Spring. The fish can travel many miles from one river system to the next. In this area evidence of fish weirs set thousands of years ago by the Mi’kmaq peoples have been found, the soundscape, is equally as old.
The Big Hardwood
5. The Big Hardwood is a very long, and tiring, portage in Kejimkujik National Park. We didn’t come to Peskowesk Lake this way, but we calculated that we did walk about 15km portaging on the journey to get to this recording location near the lake its self, another incredible part of the Acadian Forest. These places that hold the big Maple, Birch and Beech forests have a wonderful unique quality to them when you listen to their sounds at this time of year. Absent of a canopy in early May, the soundscape is sharpness to it, a clarity and depth only a mature forest can produce.
Wetland Near Peskowesk Lake
6. Over the ridge from this wetland is the huge Peskowesk Lake, from which the distant soundscape leaks into this quiet wetland. You can hear a male Ring Neck Duck, a newly arrived pair, going through their mating ritual, and of course the Spring Peepers and migratory birds calling from the shrubs and forests surrounding the wetland. Off in the distance, beyond the Pine crested ridge are the Loons, their call carried by the incessant Spring wind, into our awaiting senses.
The West Wind
7. Black Capped Chickadees sing their territory call as the morning chorus heightens. Above in the bare branches the prevailing West wind blows sternly, trees creek and drips from yesterdays rain find their way to the Acadian Forest floor.
The Stopping Place
8. The Kejimkujik area of Nova Scotia has been a traditional stopping place for the Mikmaq for thousands of years as they followed the large mammals through the region, setting up hunting and fishing camps on the waterways and lakes of the area. Their 4000 year history here is evident in many places including sacred areas where petroglyphs can be seen.
After three days of heavy rain, streams and rivers ran high, softening their sounds. Here the microphones were placed near such a stream in the forest as it flowed towards the larger Peskowesk Brook. I stopped here for quite a while, listening and watching, enjoying the water creeping through the saturated mosses as it moved through this forested wetland, the singing Northern birds every present.
9. Spending almost a week in the wilderness, as we did in Kejimkujik helps you once again realize the things that Nature can give us that cannot be counted in monetary value. The spiritual awakening afforded in such places helps us find not only a kinship with the Earth but also an understanding of our place within it. Through these experiences comes gratitude.
10. A break in the storm, which sent two days of heavy rain sideways in a seemingly never ending onslaught of rough weather did give me this wonderful track. Recorded in the old growth Hemlock on an Island in Peskowesk lake, you can really get a sense of where you are. If you listen, you’ll be able to hear the wind as it rushes from one side of the lake to the other, through the high branches of the Hemlock and Pine. Off in the distance a Song Sparrow calls on the lake shore while close by a single Blue Headed Vireo sings.