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.
Cold and overcast. The wind eddies around the house, bringing first a few snowflakes, then the distant mechanical gargle of an engine brake.
The traffic noise is deafening; even the crows are hard to hear. The air starts to shimmer with what Chinese call maomaoyu—fine-hair rain.
Cool and almost clear. A few clouds come scudding from the same direction as the highway noise, as if themselves powered by small engines.