There’s a lot to see in Yellowstone. Pastel canyons and jagged charcoal peaks. Vast elk and bison herds that speckle the sprawling green of the park’s valleys. A lone wolf dashing into deep conifer cover.
But there’s also a lot to HEAR in America’s first national park–a plethora of fascinating, haunting, even comical sounds. And as any nature writer knows, trying to do justice to such rich and nuanced audibles is almost impossible.
Yes, some parts of Yellowstone’s extensive soundtrack are familiar and can be easily conjured up in the human mind. Take, for instance, the screech of a hawk, the taunting cackle of a raven, the yipping, crescendo-building chorus of a coyote collective at twilight. But trying to characterize less-known, more mysterious phenomenon is a real struggle. Take leaping mud, for instance, or the blustery, blowhard steamers called fumaroles? And we can well imagine what a napping grizzly sounds like, or what one chomping on a meal of elk bones might … But still we wonder, what do such wild, unscripted moments REALLY sound like???
Fortunately, these incredible sounds, and many others, are now available for instant listening on Yellowstone’s official website. Yellowstone’s Audio Collection was laboriously created and curated by science journalist Jennifer Jarrett, who, spends many of her work days on “stake out” in her car in the valleys, flats and geyser basins across Yellowstone, waiting for just the right moment to probe her high-tech gear out the side window and capture a bit of magic.
So now you don’t have to travel hundreds or thousands of miles to hear bugling elk (or sparring ones), Yellowstone’s dawn chorus, a “singing” lake, or a geyser by the name of Puff ‘n Stuff…They’re all a click or two away.
Thanks, National Park Service, and Jennifer, for the amazing music!!!
Click to hear wolves howling