A simple walk in the woods can be a sensory treat: in addition to everything you see, there’s also the feel of the ground under you, the sounds of the birds, the wind in the branches.
While enjoying nature (call it forest bathing if you like) can be harder to do in winter, and harder still if you don’t have a convenient bit of nature nearby, there are still ways to enjoy forests virtually. We’ve previously showed you how to forest bathe virtually, and now there is a tool that gives you instant access to the sounds of the world’s forests.
Tree.fm is a website full of soundscapes from real forests around the world, which play while displaying a full-screen photo of the location where they were recorded. Click “listen to a random forest” and you’ll be transported to Madagascar to listen to some lemurs, or to Ghana to hear some peacefully rushing water, or to Russia, where a bird I’ve never heard of puts on a vocal performance. For a chill soundscape, I particularly loved this forest in Turkey.
The recordings come from the Sounds of the Forest sound map, and if you visit that website you can browse by location. Listen to a forest near you, or one far away. Always wanted to visit Hawaii? Here’s what a forest in Wahiawa sounded like on September 27 of this year.
Some forests are relaxing, while others are a riot of animal sounds. In a few, you can hear the footsteps or breath of the person recording, or the wind against the microphone. It’s a fantastic way of transporting yourself to another world, if only for a moment.