Short Hike in the Mossy Forest of North-East Kyoto
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$240 Audio Recorder suspended over a stream by a $9 tripod and a rock Mountains north of the Kitashirakawa area of Kyoto, Japan -- Small mountain stream in the Kitashirakawa area of Kyoto -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 38 mm — 1/160 sec, f/4.5, ISO 900 — map & image datanearby photos
$240 Audio Recorder
suspended over a stream by a $9 tripod and a rock
Mountains north of the Kitashirakawa area of Kyoto, Japan

This cold I've had for the last week and a half seems to be getting a bit better, but it's been a killer, flip-flopping me between sleeping all day due to lack of energy, and wanting to sleep all day but not being able to due to insomnia. A few days ago I was an absolute zombie from having not slept for two days, but got enough of a second wind that I decided to try to get out a bit into Nature, to see whether that would refresh me a bit.

I brought the Zoom H4n high-quality audio recorder that I mentioned in yesterday's post, to try to practice with it a bit, heading to a mountain trail that runs along (and sometimes through) a small stream, far away from any sounds of the city. I wanted to try recordings of the babbling stream with various audio-recorder settings, so I could get a sense for how to use the unit.

The picture above was one of the first tests. I had forgotten to bring my headphones, so I couldn't tell what kind of result I was getting. I recorded at uncompressed 96kHz 24bit-per-channel stereo (far higher quality than CDs), but it didn't really matter... it was just a stream.

For what it's worth, here's the recording I got from the setup above (as a one-minute mp3)....

Click <a href="http://regex.info/i/Anthony-Inoshishi.mp3">here</a> to listen
Babbling Brook
60 seconds, though every one sounds exactly the same

I was hoping for something a bit more subtle... maybe something I could listen to in my insomnia to lull me to sleep, but with the microphones so close, this seems a bit too river-rapids and less babbling brook.

But I didn't know what I was getting at the time, so tried various setups...

A Different Setup -- Small mountain stream in the Kitashirakawa area of Kyoto -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
A Different Setup

These pictures were at the real start of the mountain trail (I had taken the scooter over the bumpy remains of what had once been some kind of access road up to this point), and I decided to venture in a bit.

Small Bridge of spongy, rotted, moss-covered logs -- Small mountain stream in the Kitashirakawa area of Kyoto -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 29 mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 4000 — map & image datanearby photos
Small Bridge
of spongy, rotted, moss-covered logs

The logs didn't look like they'd support the weight of a large bird; I decided against traversing the short bridge, opting to jump over instead.

Reverse Angle -- Small mountain stream in the Kitashirakawa area of Kyoto -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 42 mm — 1/160 sec, f/3.2, ISO 900 — map & image datanearby photos
Reverse Angle

The path was fairly non-existent at times, but the ascent was mild and the going easy... a pleasant stroll on, as it turned out, the first warm day of spring, with temperatures in the upper 60s (20C).

Eventually there was sort of a clearing, with diverging paths and a sign post..

Clearing sort of -- Small mountain stream in the Kitashirakawa area of Kyoto -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/160 sec, f/9, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Clearing
sort of
Sign of the Vines dating from November 1983 -- Small mountain stream in the Kitashirakawa area of Kyoto -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 60 mm — 1/160 sec, f/3.5, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
Sign of the Vines
dating from November 1983

The little clump of trees had vines dangling down all over, and hanging from some of the vines or branches were wooden commemorative plaques left by hikers. I've seen many before at other places (the top of Mt. Daimonji and even at the highly unchallenging Shogunzuka overlook), but there were only a few here, from a preschool in the south of Kyoto that apparently makes yearly field trips here.

2007 with faces and drawings by the kids -- Small mountain stream in the Kitashirakawa area of Kyoto -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 55 mm — 1/160 sec, f/2.8, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
2007
with faces and drawings by the kids
2006 the large branch it had been hanging from had fallen, so I propped the plaque back up -- Small mountain stream in the Kitashirakawa area of Kyoto -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 48 mm — 1/160 sec, f/2.8, ISO 450 — map & image datanearby photos
2006
the large branch it had been hanging from had fallen, so I propped the plaque back up
2009 cute -- Small mountain stream in the Kitashirakawa area of Kyoto -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/160 sec, f/10, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
2009
cute

2008 was probably there somewhere, among those in lesser states of preservation.

Reverse Angle View From the Sign -- Small mountain stream in the Kitashirakawa area of Kyoto -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/160 sec, f/10, ISO 4500 — map & image datanearby photos
Reverse Angle View From the Sign

I'd come from the (hard to discern in this photo) path on the left. The path on the right almost doesn't look like one, but according to the sign there's something or other 1.1km away along it. I didn't intend to go that far, but took it a bit and came across one bit of white in the otherwise overwhelmingly brown and green forest....

Just This One Tree was covered head to toe with this fungus -- Small mountain stream in the Kitashirakawa area of Kyoto -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 66 mm — 1/160 sec, f/7.1, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Just This One Tree
was covered head to toe with this fungus

Back to the main trail along the river, the entire way it was spotted with clumps of moss of all kinds, here, there, and all over everywhere. It was pretty, though none of my photos capture it.

Fallen Log #1438 -- Small mountain stream in the Kitashirakawa area of Kyoto -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 52 mm — 1/160 sec, f/10, ISO 4000 — map & image datanearby photos
Fallen Log #1438
Fallen Log #7201 -- Small mountain stream in the Kitashirakawa area of Kyoto -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 58 mm — 1/160 sec, f/10, ISO 5000 — map & image datanearby photos
Fallen Log #7201
Gnarled Moss -- Small mountain stream in the Kitashirakawa area of Kyoto -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 58 mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 5000 — map & image datanearby photos
Gnarled Moss

Wandering further along the trail, I came across another fork in the path and another “bridge”, this time over a narrow but quite deep (15-feet?) chasm that I would not want to have fallen in...

Bridge of Dubious Stability -- Small mountain stream in the Kitashirakawa area of Kyoto -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 27 mm — 1/160 sec, f/5, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
Bridge of Dubious Stability
Be My Guest -- Small mountain stream in the Kitashirakawa area of Kyoto -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 38 mm — 1/160 sec, f/2.8, ISO 220 — map & image datanearby photos
Be My Guest

I decided to give it a try and immediately regretted it. The “railing” is worse than nothing because it is not even as sturdy as it looks (and it looks completely unsturdy), so it gives a false sense of safety, as minuscule as it may be. The logs were just as rotten and spongy as those before, but this time they were three times as long, and actually spanned a dangerous void. One foot ventured out onto the bridge about the same distance, and sanity caught up with me and I decided to take the other path.

Every once in a while I'd see a different situation in which I could test the recorder. Here I'm way up on a rise pointing to the fairly-far-away stream, hoping to get a softer sound, and maybe some birds...

Small mountain stream in the Kitashirakawa area of Kyoto -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 50 mm — 1/160 sec, f/2.8, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos

None of the results were great, but it was fun and quite pleasant. I'd like to go back again some time when I'm well rested.


All 6 comments so far, oldest first...

Thanks for audio. I find this very good to have some sound with pictures. please send us more sound of Kyoto. the wind in sakura 😉 etc…

If you can brave the French, there are a bunch of “Kyoto ambiance” recordings at Stéphane Barbery’s site, here. —Jeffrey

— comment by Bertrand M on February 26th, 2010 at 12:55am JST (7 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink

Nice audio, it really adds another dimension to the pictures.

— comment by luc on February 26th, 2010 at 1:51am JST (7 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink

Jeffrey,
Maybe you have received many “home” cold remedies, but I wanted to share one that works like a charm for me. It’s an old grandmother’s remedy.

Taken when you feel that twinge in your throat that tells you that you are just about to come down with a cold, it will completely get rid of it. Or, if you have already gotten a cold, it seems to reduce symptoms by 50%. I’ve used this remedy for a few years and have recommended it to many others. It seems to work for some but not others. [ie. Your Mileage May Vary]

The remedy:
Do this LAST before bed at night:
Put 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon honey in a small glass. Microwave at 50% power for 30 seconds. Mix. Sip this until gone.

As you can imagine, it does not smell the greatest, but the taste is not all bad. If your results are anything like mine, you will swear by it for the rest of your life. I can go to bed at night feeling quite cruddy and thinking that I would have a full-blown cold the next day, but then in the morning I feel perfectly normal! I have been cold-free this entire winter, even though I felt one coming on a number of times. If you try it, I hope it works for you.

Re.: The photos on this post.
It’s interesting how an old forest in Japan can look amazingly like an old forest here in the US Midwest. Do you have a sense of Deja-vu since you grew up in Ohio?

— comment by Gary in GR on February 26th, 2010 at 2:29am JST (7 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink

French is not a problem as I am French. I know some of Stephane work (got his last book for Christmas) but dit not know about sounds. Thanks

— comment by Bertrand M on February 26th, 2010 at 2:38am JST (7 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink

That’s pretty cool. When I was in high school, I had a friend who used to go out and record the sounds of nature. I think my favorite recordings of his were the ones at the beach. You could hear the waves crashing onto the shore along with the sounds of birds. It was very relaxing. I’m excited to hear more.

— comment by Earnest Barr on February 26th, 2010 at 6:51am JST (7 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink

Nice idea with the audio. Better than videos, which takes the “surprise” out of a hike. I think I will add audio to my site … maybe a moving audio, especially along a stretch of hike by a brook.

— comment by Eric on March 2nd, 2010 at 7:22am JST (7 years, 9 months ago) comment permalink
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