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Common Mergansers

Amanda Bales

7/13/14 & 7/14/14: This week on Fieldnotes: "Common Mergansers," written by Kristi Johnson, read by Allison De Jong.

"Water being their natural element, mergansers are often wary of trouble from land and sky. I noted this with frustration as I scrambled in vain for a good observation point that cloudless day. The moment the mergansers sensed my presence, they were off again into the water, always just ahead. Yet I watched in disbelief as they calmly rode the wake of a wave runner loaded with shouting kids, or swam nonchalantly alongside a puttering tour boat blaring pop tunes. Why, if they weren't frightened of these raucous contraptions, were they concerned with a solitary girl onshore with a notebook?"

Beth Anne Austein has been spinning tunes on the air (The Folk Show, Dancing With Tradition, Freeforms), as well as recording, editing and mixing audio for Montana Public Radio and Montana PBS, since the Clinton Administration. She’s jockeyed faders or "fixed it in post” for The Plant Detective; Listeners Bookstall; Fieldnotes; Musicians Spotlight; The Write Question; Storycorps; Selected Shorts; Bill Raoul’s music series; orchestral and chamber concerts; lecture series; news interviews; and outside producers’ programs about topics ranging from philosophy to ticks.
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