Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Soft Sounds of Forest Voices

Soft sounds of streams slipping over stones, snow drops falling on grass, a bird's quiet chirping - are some of the voices speaking to visitors at Tetons National Park Visitors Center.

In my last post here, I wrote about listening to different voices from other places than our own immediate world - new spots we might visit, especially in the summertime, and how enriching new voices are to a writer. Last month the new voices I heard were from the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

This week while visiting the Grand Teton Mountains in Wyoming my ears tickled with the many unique sounds of this western, high country.

At the new Laurence Rockefeller Visitors Center by the trail head for Phelps Lake, one of the galleries features five long panels that show revolving, short film shots of the sounds of nature through the seasons in the park - the summer stream, the winter snow and the chirping bird, along with moose slowly stepping from the cover of trees into the meadow of deep snow, and an eagle lightly ruffling his feathers.

The gallery intends to demonstrate the tranquility of the wilderness and its inspiration for visitors to find a sense of serenity and relaxation away from the hectic pace of modern life.

Outside on the trail up to Phelps Lake, the sun was shining hot and the sky deep blue. The breeze blew threw the pines , rustling the needles, the creek bubbled down the hillside, and a waterfall crashed over its rocky drop. The clean green water of the lake shone in the sun and reflected the majestic mountains behind it, and was still, until its quiet was broken by a splash of a pebble and the laugh of a child.

These varied and beautiful sounds of the mountain wilderness speak to the visitor, and especially to a writer. So many sights, sounds and ideas for new stories and thoughts for enhancing Works in Progress.

As the last days of summer linger, what new voices have you heard this year and how will you use them in your writing work? .


  1. I love reading your nature writing Eileen! Several years ago, the new voice I heard was the voice of jazz-- scatting and jazz instruments. And this voice has made it into a couple of manuscripts that I've been working on. Definitely fun (and challenging) to try to convey this in a picture book manuscript!

  2. Eileen,
    You make places sound so inviting. Maybe you should add writing travel ads to your bag of tricks!

  3. When I read your work and Linda's work, it makes me much more conscious of setting and what I need to add to my own writing. In editing, I always need to add more.

  4. Brianna,
    I remember your fascinating use of jazz sounds and introducing them to children in a fun way. Keep the music coming!

    Writing travel articles for kids would be a great way to introduce children to our beautiful land.

    Setting with it's immediate link to readers with it's sights and sounds as well as touch and smell is so important.