A wren calls under the porch. It’s five degrees below freezing. An inversion layer brings the whine of tires over the ridge, red with sunrise.
5:15. A sliver of a moon with its dark bulk faintly illuminated by earthshine. Highway noise picks up. A towhee starts to tweet.
Cold. With the heavy inversion layer, a jay in the yard who sounds as if he’s practicing scales must compete with the whine of tires on I-99.
Under a low cloud ceiling, the thunder of trains and traffic from the valley. The black cat’s deadly silence trips a gray-squirrel alarm.
First light. Ghostly figures in the meadow shrink into common snakeroot. The distant gargle of a truck jake-breaking off the interstate.
Quiet except for the distant whine of traffic on I-99 and some small bird chirping behind the oil tanks. The sun comes out for five seconds.
A white-breasted nuthatch is barely audible over the whine of tires from the interstate. Two jet contrails form an X just above the sun.
The snow has retreated to the tops of logs. A squirrel’s scold-calls blend with the whine of traffic from over the ridge. A patter of rain.
The snow has gone slushy, turning the hollow from a soundproof room into an echo chamber. Over the traffic noise, a junco’s cadenza.
Between storms, the sound of traffic. Between the white ground and the white sky, fog, and the haute couture of snow coating every tree.
Out before dawn, I watch Venus rising through the trees, bright as a searchlight. The distant gargle of jake brakes from the interstate.
Ash-gray sky and an inversion layer making it sound as if the highway runs straight through the hollow. Above the din, a titmouse keens.
Cold snap over, fine snow falls—accompanied by the roar of traffic, as if all noise this past week had frozen solid and now is thawing out.
One degree above freezing and the hillside echoes with traffic noise. Meltwater drips from the roof, polyrhythms going in and out of sync.