These things are ours for God creates within our soul a mystic sense of wonder that we may hear allegro tunes among tall swaying cattails.

Gwen Frostic

Before we get to birds, a small bit of business.

So many of you have asked me how to pronounce New Zealand’s “Te Araroa.” This is my hiking-partner-for-the-first-eight-days Irene’s dad’s longtime girlfriend, Vern with her gorgeous Kiwi accent setting us straight on this Maori word.

Te Araroa is pronounced teah ah-rah-ROH-uh and means “long pathway” in Maori

Kiwi accents weren’t the only things I came to love on my thru-hike last winter. The birds became constant companions and delighted me, even if perched inches away from the alicoop as I tried to sleep.

Likewise, on the other side of the world on my start on the Pacific Crest Trail in early July, the North Cascades were misty and rainy, the gray seeping into my mood. But the birds saved the day, singing technicolor tunes, all brand new to my ears.


  1. The video clip of bird sounds from the PCT took my right back to Sunset Lake (think Big Lake camp for Washington state) where I worked as a staff member for so many years. Lovely. Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. Alison…birds audio great…smoky dawn video ended in sunlight…lovely…Zola

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