Sunday, November 30, 2008

Breaking the Silence.


A few years ago I did an article here about the Sirens of Astoria and how all sounds from Smith Point to Tongue Point can be heard anywhere on the North slope, be it sirens or barking sea lions.

I’ve been in cool places where one could hear the bells on the goats ringing from miles across a valley. I realized when I replied to a comment last week that the valley I live in has some amazing acoustic attributes as well.

On days that are still when there is a low cloud ceiling I can hear the ocean from my house. It is almost like white noise or static, but every once in a while one can hear an enormous wave crash upon the shore. I am several miles from the ocean as the crow flies, but its sound still makes the trip to my house.

I can hear the sounds of fog horns on the Columbia River while in be on foggy mornings. The river is about eight miles from my house, but it comes in loud and clear.

When I go out in the morning I can hear the toots of the log chokers and hauler in the woods miles away. One can hear a car approaching from miles away. Sometimes I go outside at night and I can hear dogs barking to one another from miles apart.

Country life isn’t as quiet as one might imagine. When things do get quiet and I mean really quiet, one tends to ask, “What’s going on that things are so quiet? Did the world end?”

6 Comments:

Anonymous g said...

I live about a mile from the columbia river and can hear when a ship passes by. very distinct sound.

11:41 AM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

Certain parts of this world are entirely too noisy. This bit I'm in is one of them. I often feel like I'm rooming with the Awful Din. Could you bottle up some of those neat Oregon noises, or lack thereof, and send them here?

2:31 PM  
Blogger Auntie said...

Where I live you can hear the sea lions on a daily basis, loud fog horns, sirens, dogs, and dorks with big jacked up trucks driving at high speeds...man o man, Calgon take me away.........

4:09 PM  
Blogger Mike S said...

This place is an accoustic enigma too. On most days it's quiet as a tomb, but a cold, damp day turns our river valley into an auditorium. The fog horns are too far away, but on those days we can hear train whistles & logging trucks that are literally many miles away. We can hear a life flight chopper from the time it leaves the city area until it reaches the victim & then back to the city.(city is 1.5 hour drive in summer, about 65 miles)

11:40 PM  
Blogger loopymamain06 said...

we have a steam engine in our town 3 miles away, train whistles, a kennel 2 miles away, dogs barking at feeding time. Cattle farms up & down the road, get to hear moos some days. frogs in spring...loudly! and the countys only off road vehicle park where the locals like to mud race...so that means i have to hear revved engines some days too, and the siren still blows at noon everyday from the fire department(volunteer)
loopymama thinking fog horns might be nice

5:49 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

g the low tone of the engine rumble and the bow wave. Nice sounds.

Darev, wouldn't that be interesting if one could pick their own sound environment and place it where they wish?

Auntie, at least it's relatively quiet on the other side of the hill.

Mike, now that's quiet.

Loopy, the kennel would drive me crazy. Sirens at noon, eh? Thanks for the story idea.

5:53 AM  

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