I-99

From the east, the pop-pop-pop of a rifle being sighted in for deer season. From the west, the roar of Black Friday traffic. Hunters, all.

An inversion layer at sunrise. Above the roar of traffic from over the ridge, a bluebird’s warble. The clouds flare pink and slowly fade.

A gray day loud with traffic. The snowpack has slid half-way off the metal roof over the oil tanks, curling under the eaves like a claw.

Loud traffic sound from the west. A downy woodpecker keeps interrupting his tapping to take short, zigzagging flights among the trees.

The woods are filled with fog and a roar of traffic from over the ridge. The north roof of the springhouse still wears a scruff of ice.

Traffic noise blends with the ridgetop wind to form a single roar. In the thin snow behind my chair, the meandering tracks of a sparrow.

White ground, white sky, but the roofs are shedding their snow drip by drip. Traffic noise coming from the west—sure sign of rain.

An inversion layer brings freight train and traffic noise to mix with rustling leaves, crow scold-calls, a chipmunk’s metronome. My music.

Traffic noise from over the hill is deafening—the icy snowpack has become a sounding board. In the tulip tree, four slow, amorous squirrels.

Thin fog, as in the corners of a tintype. It seems too quiet for a Monday morning; traffic on the interstate is a faint, far moan.

A low drone of traffic from over the ridge. Half-blinded by the sun, I see the backlit wings of small birds as sudden flowers opening.

In one and the same moment, the howl of an accelerating speedbike, a train whistle, and the quiet anxious calling of a nuthatch to its mate.

We don’t hear much from the highway these days. What I hear: Canada geese off to the north, a train whistle, two kinds of crickets.