After hard rain in the early hours, the sky is a patchwork of light and dark. The wail of a freight train is faintly audible above the wind.

A wet snow has turned the trees Victorian, every last twig edged with filigree. The only sound from the valley is the rumbling of trains.

The low throb of a freight train laboring up the valley. A mossy log at the woods’ edge is lit up by the sun’s reflection in a window.

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

On a cold, clear morning, the calls of birds seem almost crystalline. To say nothing of the whistle of a westbound freight…

Sound, like the rest of the weather, is out of the east: plow trucks, slow-moving trains, a dog barking on and on at the falling snow.

As daylight gathers, the sky goes from white to gray. A train whistle trailed by its rumble of freight. The distant propellers of a plane.

The last of the snow is gone, and the moss that lay under it for a week looks greener than ever. A distant train horn blows a minor chord.

Sunny, warm, and quiet except for the distant wail of a locomotive, a phoebe calling at the woods’ edge, a cricket, the rustling of leaves.

Three deer graze in the meadow, ears and tails flapping to keep off the flies. From the valley, a steam locomotive’s lonesome wail.

At first light, the wild cries of tundra swans pour down through the clouds. Then silence. The rumbling labor of an east-bound freight.

Out of the dense fog, the too-fast-to-count taps of a woodpecker drumming for the music of it. He pauses to let a train whistle blow.

The sound of the wind up on the ridge mingles with the sound of trains in the valley until it’s almost impossible to tell them apart.