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Calm Morning in the Forest - nature landscape painting -

Calm Morning in the Forest

Artist: George Vlad
Madhya Pradesh, India

The sounds of wild forests in Central India. It’s the dry season in the deciduous forests of Madhya Pradesh.

While there is still water available in rivers, the landscape is extremely dry and dusty. Early mornings in the forest see a bit of dew, but as soon as the sun rises the temperature goes up and the wind starts blowing dust everywhere. The atmosphere is milky and thick with haze that keeps visibility low. The soundscape of Satpura Tiger Reserve is thin and light. This is one of the few places in India where visitors are allowed to walk in tiger country. As soon as you step in the forest, birdsong and other sounds are masked by the sounds of footsteps on dry vegetation. The slightest breeze will cause soft rustle in the leaves and grasses all around. Dry leaves keep falling from trees, especially as the wind picks up. All this creates a constant soft hiss that glues the soundscape together. The moment I press record on my trusty Sony D100, the dawn chorus has already been going on for an hour or two. I’ve experienced way lusher and crazier soundscapes in wild places around the world, but the sounds here are lovely in their own way. There’s almost a constant chorus of doves calling at various distances. Songbirds seem to call for a bit and then give up, only to restart at various intervals. Occasionally a langur’s deep territorial call can be heard from very far away. Some insects can also be heard very softly. My favourite moments are when a woodpecker gets close and starts pecking at trees nearby, and when junglefowl (the ancestors of domesticated chickens) utter their weirdly familiar rooster-like crows. The sounds of this part of India are lovely even in the relatively quiet dry season. I look forward to returning to these forests during the rains and exploring very different soundscapes. is a completely free streaming service of 900+ nature sounds from around the world, offering natural soundscapes and guided meditations for people who wish to listen to nature, relax, and become more connected.

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