Lake Ontario Wavescape

photo of lake ontario shorelineIn early September of this year, I went on a vacation-retreat with several friends to Robert G. Wehle State Park, located along the northeastern shore of Lake Ontario. We rented a cottage overlooking the lake.

One calm evening, I followed the trail down to the lake’s edge to record the sound of the waves. To my delight, there was a single Snowy Tree Cricket chirping away from a shrub high on the limestone bluff above me. Numerous individuals of another species of tree cricket (not sure which) were trilling softly from nearby trees (these could be ground crickets). The result was a very relaxing wavescape, punctuated by the cricket songs:

Waves with crickets, 10:30 pm, 1 September 2010, Robert G. Wehle State Park, along the northeastern shore of Lake Ontario near Henderson, New York. Recording © Lang Elliott.

photo of Lang ElliottThis is a meditative soundscape. The gentle lapping of waves is loosely repetitive and soothing. The Snowy Tree Cricket chirps throughout at around 2500 Hz, adding a pulsating rhythm to the soundscape. His measured song is low-key and unobtrusive. The higher-pitched trillers (at around 5500 Hz) are also soft, yet provide a sparkling shimmer to the recording. For me, it is the crickets that make this soundscape work. Waves alone will induce relaxation, but the insect songs potentiate the wavescape, producing a result that is greater than the sum of its parts.

I could easily go to sleep listening to this soundscape, if played at a moderately low level. Could you?


  1. I listened to part of this recording with my eyes closed, and I have to admit it is quite peaceful. Whenever I go to Lake Michigan, when I hear the waves crashing it’s like zen.

    By the way, I think the continuous trilling of crickets might be a chorus of Carolina Ground Crickets.

  2. Lovely. This recording is timeless! Is it too much to ask to have a Barred Owl come in once, in the distance?!


    • Bob, I could certainly layer-in a Barred Owl but probably won’t. Why? Because this recording is tagged to go into a title I will call “Insect Lullabys” and there are a number of other tracks that feature Barred Owl. You know the old saying: “too much of a good thing is a bad thing”. A possible solution would be to add a distant Great Horned Owl, though it may not mix well with the water sound (an issue of water “solubility,” I suppose).

  3. I could sleep, dream, and heal to this (and other of your recordings) and would greatly enjoy the option of looped playback.

    • Sorry, but I can’t do auto-looping because I’d end up paying gobs for bandwidth. Once everything comes up for sale, you’ll be able to download albums and loop tracks to your heart’s delight.

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