What was that Noise?
My favorite response when asked this question by my children when we’re out in the woods is, "Northwoods Monkey." To me, many of the sounds I hear resemble that of a monkey, maybe it’s because there are so many different monkeys and so many different sounds they can make. I have yet to see a monkey in the canoe country or on the Gunflint Trail so I decided I should learn about the sounds of the forest I could actually be hearing.
Josh received a great gift for his 5th birthday in June, Reptiles and Amphibians of Minnesota by Stan Tekiela. It is a guide book that includes a compact disc with recordings of various frogs found in Minnesota. On the way to town the other day I had a car load of kids and decided to try listening to this.
Much to my amazement the kids really enjoyed it. The first section of the CD identified the frog and the sound it makes and gave the page number that went with it in the book. The next section included other swamp sounds and the sound of one of the frogs and again identified the frog. We listened to both of these sections and then stopped to take a quick hike. When we got back into the car Abby asked, "Aren’t we going to finish listening to the frog CD?" I happily played the last section of the CD that included a variety of frogs making noises all at once and then identified them at the end. This was a great way to pass time in the car and the kids learned something in the process.
Stan Tekiela has published many other books and CD’s including the Birds of Minnesota which is another great Field Guide. Many of his books are field guides from different states about trees, wildflowers, birds and more. We carry many of his books so if you are interested in ordering something you can check out his website and give us a call or drop us an e-mail.