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.
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.