The University of Utah has this insane idea to record all non-human areas of the American West. There are hundreds of wildlife/ambient recordings up so far. Read all about it.
Right now I'm in the Alaskan Arctic tundra (Brrrr!). At least, for 11 minutes. Some of the ambient soundscapes last for over an hour. It makes for addictive listening, and from both a scientific and aesthetic viewpoint, it's absolutely crucial.
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge-Beaufort Lagoon-Tundra (060605-81)
The recordings can be detailed, but you gotta pump up the volume - the levels are pretty low.
All this Arctic stuff reminds me of Tanya Tagaq. She's an Inuit (Are they Eskimos? Or are they not called Eskimos anymore?) from far northern Canada who makes singing/grunting/beat-boxing a capella music that ranges from scary death-metal growls to orgasmic moans, sometimes coming off like Bjork choking on a whale sandwich, electronically looped into rhythmic dementia. It's supposedly based on traditional folkloric styles, but with artsy folks like Mike Patton and the Kronos Quartet guesting on her albums, I'd say she's sled-dogging off into fairly uncharted territory. In any case, it is some deeply weird stuff, even for this blog.
Tanya Tagaq - Qimiruluapik
Her most recent album has the string quartet backing, but I prefer the stark (mostly) voice-only sound of her debut. And it goes well mixed with the Arctic ambience I posted above.