Goldfinches repopulate a leafless birch and sit eating seeds. From the east, the sound of the quarry’s crusher, its breakfast of stones.

Fog glowing sunrise-orange. Sound is out of the east: traffic, freight trains, the crusher at the quarry. A chickadee sings both his songs.

Noise from the quarry—a grinding drone that runs under everything: oriole song, woodpecker drumming, a hummingbird’s Geiger-counter clicks.

Sound is out of the east: quarry trucks and grinders. In the gray woods, gray squirrels glide silently over the rain-slicked leaf duff.

The wind is out of the east, and, slight as it is, carries an acrid, chemical smell from the sewage plant and the quarry’s dull roar.

Just after full daylight, a patter of raindrops on the roof. My guests are departing. The steady, dull roar of machines at the quarry.