The Soul of the Wild World (11:42)
Featured Species: Grey Wolf, Common Loon, White-throated Sparrow and Tennessee Warbler.
(Recorded in Northern Ontario, Canada)
Moonlight in May. It’s cold. The day will soon arrive as the atmosphere is filled with tiny droplets of dew. A Grey Wolf makes several calls to know where other members of its pack are. If the weather is calm, the wolf can perceive the response of its congeners over a distance of eight kilometres. Hearing the howling of the wolf in its natural habitat is one of the most moving sound experiences. Unfortunately, popular folklore has completely distorted the meaning of the Grey Wolf’s howl by associating it with darkness and the devil. In truth, howling is to the Wolf what song is to Man. So there are as many reasons to howl as to sing: a marriage, a birth, a death, a departure, a reunion, a mood, a state of mind and, above all, an instinctive need to join one’s voice to others in order to grow ones a sense of belonging to a group. Howling is bonding; to bond is to live. The song of a wolf pack exalts Life in what is most beautiful, sacred and mysterious.
When the sun rises, the songs of the White-throated Sparrow open the chorus of all the small birds of the forest, including the American Robin, Dark-eyed Junco, Song Sparrow and many others. Soon everyone greets the new day in unison. Covered with mist, the lake performs a gentle lapping sound. The Common Loon’s vocalizations are multiplying in many echoes.
The Grey Wolf and Common Loon embody the souls of the last great wilderness. They also symbolize the frontier of the natural world, because as soon as civilization invades a virgin territory of the boreal forest, their voices are silent. A Common Loon emits a variety of moving screams. Well-known are the yodel, a territorial cry produced by the males during the nesting period, and the tremolo call generally associated with an alarm message.
The wind creates wavelets on the lake while the forest comes alive with the many voices of the triumphant morning. There is suddenly such a diversity of songs that it is difficult to identify the sounds of the species in the background. However, we can distinguish the Northern Waterthrush, the Tennessee Warbler, the White-throated Sparrow and the Black-throated Green Warbler.