At just half-light, the young rooster in the neighbors’ coop begins to crow. But the distant train whistle still has more depth, more soul.
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.
Warm and humid. The smell of liquid fertilizer drifts up from the valley to the east, and from the west, the sound of trains.
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.
A flat-gray sky. Train whistles and quarry noise travel up the hollow, accompanying two overlapped umbrellas, one black, one white.
The blear isn’t just in my eyes; the distance dissolves into a thin mist which the weak sun can’t burn off. A train’s dispassionate wail.
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.
The sun glimmers through thin clouds, backlighting the green lilac and the sideways-blowing snow. The wail of a freight train on the wind.
An agitated Carolina wren progresses from between-station radio static noises to musical chirps, then silence. A freight train wails.