There is no silence in Brooklyn. Human noise is constant. Even late at night the nearby highway is a drone of grey noise, and the D train screeches as it rounds the corner. And that’s the quietest time of all. Inside Green-Wood, things are notably improved, buffered, dampened. Even there, though, the sounds of near constant maintenance during weekdays are a given.

But still, you can actually hear the world in there. There are the bird calls and songs, of course. Blue Jays, sure, are screeching banshees, but think also of the little ones like White-breasted Nuthatches, Tufted Titmice, and Black-capped Chickadees. They do make a racket with their constant chatter. I’ve heard sounds this winter from Chickadees that I don’t believe I’ve ever heard before. Consider too the Dark-eyed Junco, White-throated Sparrow, American Goldfinch foraging and talking amongst themselves. Seven squirrels squabbling in a couple of side-by-side trees, their vocalizations and their scrambling claws on bark combining into a big loop-de-loop whoop: who needs a troop of monkeys? Then there’s the telegraphy of woodpeckers tapping out their meals. They’ll also call, churping and chipping — blade on a whetstone on a cold day?
And, in this case, the broken branch of a big tuliptree, caught up there by the fork and twisting in the wind. The squeaking of wood on wood at the impromptu joint, that too, you can hear.
An Ent’s ear?

2 Responses to “Sounds”

  1. 1 Joan Martorano January 11, 2021 at 9:06 pm


  2. 2 Sherry Felix January 12, 2021 at 6:15 am

    I love Greenwood. Don’t often get there. Lovely post.

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