Thursday, October 21, 2010

the James River and thereabouts

During a trip to Virginia to visit family and attend the Richmond Folk Festival, I did some field recording.

Having been by, but never to, Ragged Island WMA, I thought it'd be worth a try to record both the James River Bridge (longtime fixture in family history) and the river itself.

I started near the bridge. Which was fine for that objective. But later took the observation trail to further down river. Both places I used the highly kludged together Big Fluff windscreen made with fake fur on plastic cross stitch grid whatever.

James River at end of observation boardwalk trail, Ragged Island WMA, Carrollton VA, noon 8 October 2010

Roughly a 1/4 mile away, the bridge traffic is still a big part of the sound. Noontime sirens sound across the river in Newport News.

Birdsong at Tredegar Iron Works 9 October 2010

The next day at the Richmond Folk Festival, I barely had time to get out my lo-tek MP3 player to do a quick and dirty recording of this birdsong coming from a small tree near Tredegar Iron Works.

Train passing overhead on trestle near Tredegar Iron Works/James River, Richmond VA, 10 October 2010

That following day I took a break by the riverside and a train came over the trestle.

The last day there I went down to Chippokes Plantation State Park, where I hadn't been in over 3 years. Once there, I found a spot on the James I wanted to record.

Forgetting some essential adapter gizmo for mounting my recorder, the tripod was dead weight (on a very mosquito infested trail) and I had to improvise.

James River near end of James River trail, Chippokes Plantation State Park 13 October 2010

I recorded a couple of other spots on the beach, then switched to some DIY piezo mics for my first outdoor attempt at using them as hydrophones. Below is the sound of them dragging in shallow surf on sand and broken shells.

DIY piezo mics as hydrophones in the James River, Chippokes Plantation State Park 13 October 2010

Time allotted was running out. I went by the Visitor's Center to see if there was any last fast opportunity.

Near a picnic shelter I just fitted the recorder with the Lil' Fluff windscreen my wife had kindly fashioned from the aforementioned fake fur.

And pointed it down to the banks of the James roughly 100 feet below.

James River surf below Shelter 1 near Visitor's Center, Chippokes Plantation State Park 13 October 2010 A

James River surf below Shelter 1 near Visitor's Center, Chippokes Plantation State Park 13 October 2010 B

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