August 22nd, 2017

This is a field recording of a weedy area next to an irrigation ditch, west of Scottsbluff, Nebraska, during the total solar eclipse of August 21, 2017. It is divided into 5 snippets recorded before, during, and after totality. There isn't much difference, or what difference is there is more explained by variations in individual noise-makers (birds flitted about the area, sometimes being close enough to be audible, other times not, etc.).

Segment 1 (41 sec) starts about 55 minutes before totality. This is at about 10:50 AM.

Segment 2 (76 sec) starts about 9 minutes before totality; getting fairly dark.

Segment 3 (80 sec) starts just before the onset of totality and continues into it -- around 11:45 or so, totally dark (or at least, as dark as it gets during a total solar eclipse). You can hear some people's exclaimations in the background -- they were actually very far away.

Segment 4 (29 sec) starts about a half minute after totality had ended, and two individual noise makers (one living, one mechanical) are making a nuisance of themselves.

Segment 5 (93 sec) starts one and half minutes after totality had ended, with everything looking kind of like early morning.

Each segment has a 1 second fade in and fade out and they are separated by an extra 200 ms or so of silence.

Honestly, there isn't much here of value. There is some noise from the water running through the irrigation ditch, some background rumble from jets and trains and trucks and such, far away. You could use noise reduction to try to isolate individual animalic sounds, but there just isn't enough wildlife to give much insight. My conclusion is that the variations are as much due to birds being closer or farther away than due to the eclipse itself.

Recorder was Zoom H4n inside a home-made dead-cat-style blimp, neslted among the weeds between a gravel road and the irrigation ditch to the west of it. Recorded at 48K, 24-bit, it has been amplified considerably before converting to 44.1 and 16-bit.

It's long, so I used FLAC format.
GeoTag: 41°50'44.6" N, 103°45'16.1" W


  • avatar
    kb7clx 3 years, 8 months ago

    I had similar issues here in Atchison when I made a recording, haven't uploaded it yet, I thought the dogday cicadas would make an appearance like they do this time of year around sunset, but I guess they didn't like the rain. I just heard the usual afternoon cicadas occasionally, and some little birds occasionally.

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Flac (.flac)
29.2 MB
44100.0 Hz
16 bit
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