About A Field Guide to Identifying Unicorns By Sound
There are many ways to detect the presence of a unicorn in your own backyard, without the need for expensive electronic equipment (leave that to the greenhorn rangers) or a virgin maid (leave her to the hopeless romantics). The most obvious is via the faculty of sight. When conditions of poor visibility preclude this approach, the 'third eye' of intuition is commonly employed to track down the elusive beast.
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A few preliminary listening tips:
1. Sit for a spell. Contrary to popular belief, there's no need to wear camouflage or to hide, at least as far as the unicorn is concerned. (If, however, you feel more comfortable wearing camouflage or hiding, you may do so without ill effect.) If you are still, relaxed, and 'at one with nature,' the typical unicorn won't be frightened. Find a comfortable place, such as under a tree, and allow yourself to 'tune in' to the environment. After a few minutes, you'll notice a marked refinement in your hearing - you'll pick up on subtle auditory changes.
2. Since the human field of vision is less than 180°, there are great odds that a unicorn will approach from one of your many blind spots. Close your eyes and practice being aware of sounds coming from different directions, especially from behind you. One of the advantages of hearing over sight is that our ears offer a 360° scope.
3. Birdsong will likely be prominent in the soundscape, so practice listening beyond it to more subtle noises. Undue attention to birds when listening for unicorns is the sensory equivalent of overindulging in hors d’oeuvres and thereby spoiling one’s appetite for dinner.
4. Experiment with listening at different times of day, as unicorns can have unpredictable schedules. Sunset and midnight are recommended listening times. So is the break of dawn:
The sounds of the unicorns rose from the canyon below them as the first signs of the new day appeared in the sky. (Walter Dean Myers, Shadow of the Red Moon, 1997)
5. Listen for sudden changes in the sounds that come - or fail to come—from conventional animals. An animal's alarm call might warn of a predator, while celebratory sounds, noncommittal murmurings, or eerie silence might signal the presence of a unicorn. Chapter One explores environmental changes in detail.
Without further ado, let the adventure begin!
Posted: 10:22:37 AM
link to this article: http://www.marinasmasters.com/2006/categories/articles/2008/02/25.html#a3916