Monday, July 07, 2008

the quiet

When taking those pictures at the wildlife refuge I had to also stop and listen. Because there was silence, except for the sounds of the birds. Living next to the highway in town is noisy and you get used to it, but to enjoy near-total silence is always a treat. It makes my ears ring.

In the spring the bird sounds are louder, more raucous, and there are a lot more different birds. The geese are always especially loud, and the ducks. You'll hear the occasional crane or heron making noise, or a cow mooing nearby, the blip-blip-splash of someone on the water catching lunch, or the scraw of predatory birds. This time of the year, the population at the marsh is changing. The mating is finished for the most part, the little fuzzy birds are not quite so little and fuzzy but still grouped with moms and little families.

But now, when it's hot and desolate and still, the marsh is mostly quiet. There is rustling in the tules, some splashing, the whoop-whoop sound that the wings of a big bird flying overhead make.

I would suggest to anyone traveling up or down the I5 in Oregon to get the hell off it and get on the 97. It's prettier and you can stop and check out things like the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge. You can also stop and see the Butte Valley National Grasslands.

Personally, every time I have to drive on the 5, I think to myself, "Fuck I hate this particular freeway and just about every stupid fast-food town that dots it".

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