Perhaps the best part of my recent camping trips has been escaping from suburban life if even for 36 hours or so. Spending the night away from civilization where there are no neighbors for a few miles is as good as it gets. The only sounds are the wind in the trees, little creatures scurrying about in the night, and the creek flowing by, murmuring quietly in the flat sections and being more rowdy as the gradient increases.
While I'm normally focused on the fishing, I still like to take time to merge into the quiet landscape. Being still with nature brings the realization that there are a lot more sounds out there than you realized. The Robins are still around despite the cold mornings, holding off on migrating south until the last possible minute. I even heard what sounded suspiciously like a Red-winged Blackbird in the morning. Squirrels chatter and scold and then go about their business again, collecting food for the cold months ahead.
As the landscape comes alive, I realize that it isn't necessarily quiet I'm after, rather removal from the hustle and bustle of city living. Nature is peaceful, but definitely not quiet. As I begin to appreciate everything around me, I begin to see things in a new light.
As the new quiet descends, my appreciation for my surroundings increases and the trip is no longer just about the fishing. My camera comes out as I try to capture the moments of peace and beauty. When I start missing the woods, I'll look back at my pictures and remember the good times I've had.