The sun yellows one branch after another. From the east, the sound of a pneumatic hammer burrowing in the bed of a 450 million-year-old sea.
Blue sky with quarry noise and a singing robin. The sun stretches one finger of light down through all the trees on the hillside.
Goldfinches repopulate a leafless birch and sit eating seeds. From the east, the sound of the quarry’s crusher, its breakfast of stones.
Overcast with quarry noise out of the east. A lone Canada goose flies low over the trees, its voice breaking like a teenage boy’s.
Fog glowing sunrise-orange. Sound is out of the east: traffic, freight trains, the crusher at the quarry. A chickadee sings both his songs.
Noise from the quarry—a grinding drone that runs under everything: oriole song, woodpecker drumming, a hummingbird’s Geiger-counter clicks.
Sound is out of the east: quarry trucks and grinders. In the gray woods, gray squirrels glide silently over the rain-slicked leaf duff.
The wind is out of the east, and, slight as it is, carries an acrid, chemical smell from the sewage plant and the quarry’s dull roar.
Just after full daylight, a patter of raindrops on the roof. My guests are departing. The steady, dull roar of machines at the quarry.
Seeing the big maple silhouetted against the dawn sky, I notice for the first time it’s half dead. A clanking as the quarry comes to life.