Dawn breeze. The whine of tires from the highway over the ridge is punctuated by the heavy thwacks of falling walnuts.
The sound of deer running through the woods, and from over the ridge, that highway whine: we race through the deserts of our own making.
Highway noise from over the ridge; a whiff of diesel. A downy woodpecker going up the dead elm passes a nuthatch going down.
No trains are running. The black-and-white warbler’s quiet wheeze competes only with the distant vuvuzelas of rubber on road.
Yes, I can watch tanagers in the treetops, a hooded warbler in the bush. But just over the ridge, the interstate howls. There’s no escape.
A screech owl adds its quaver to the minimal dawn chorus: mourning dove coos, finch and sparrow chirps. Snow and highway noise on the wind.
Sunday morning rain is different; it’s quieter. The distant rumble I take at first for traffic on the interstate turns out to be thunder.
Long before daylight you can hear it coming, this first Monday after New Year’s, loud with the whine of truck tires on the interstate.
Foggy morning. A short-lived bright period brings a faint sound of traffic from I-99. I hear the hummingbird’s small motor in the garden.
Thick fog blanks everything but the noise from the highway—this could be New Jersey. Rain beads on the branches of the ornamental cherry.
Weak sun. A “v” of northbound swans. Bass notes of a distant thumper car sound almost like a drumming grouse, except they do not stop.
White sky, white noise from the highway over the ridge. The goldfinches wake all at once, a querulous babble of squeaky wheels.
From 6:00 to 6:30, it’s quiet except for the distant whine of truck tires and the wind in the treetops, more rattle than rustle now.