What I’m talking about is if you see — or even hear — what’s taking place around you in the forest? Or are you one who hikes through the woods and only notices the trees and hears the clump-clump-crunch of your own footsteps?

It’s probably true that we humans tend not to see the forest for the trees. Many tend to let their eyes be the guide when the sounds of nature, not the sight, often provide more information about the life around us, most of it hidden or too distant to see.

It’s understandable if you aren’t a hunter or fisherman. You may not have much time in your busy life to slow down and fully appreciate what you have around you.

However, those of us who are in the outdoors a lot notice all the small details of the woodlands and waterways. We hear the breeze in the tree tops, the trickle of water splashing on stones in a spring seep and the faint rapping sound on a dead tree by a woodpecker somewhere in the distance.

You’re not likely to hear or even see the wildlife unless you take time out from whatever you’re doing outdoors and focus on your surroundings. Just sit down on a log or lean back against a tree and sit still for a few minutes. Forget about the hiking, rock climbing or canoeing, etc. and about everyday life as well.

You’ll soon realize how busy the forest around you is as you sit motionless. Soon the leaves will rustle slightly and either a chipmunk or a woods mouse will scurry by. The hum of insects will probably catch your attention as they buzz about.

Of course, an outing in the forest wouldn’t be complete without the cawing of crows alerting the other denizens of your presence. That will more than likely prompt a response from an owl or turkey that sounds off in response. This is only a sampling of things you’ll notice once you stop and listen.

You soon realize that the forest is constantly moving and seldom silent.

Get out and forget your everyday worries to enjoy the forest symphony that continues day after day, playing day and night. It’s a work in progress that’s worth listening to if you want to set yourself at ease from the rest of the world. Let yourself relax, remain still and quiet, and you’ll find that it’s an ear-opening experience.

David Orlowski is a writer, hunter, fisherman and outdoor enthusiast from Potter County. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association.

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