Beltane Sumi-e Moon
You might expect the cough of a mountain lion, the cries of magpies, mule deer and elk rustling through undergrowth, bugling in the fall, the sounds of the pines soughing as winds sweep down from Mt. Evans, perhaps even the violent poundings of the thunder storm the other night. And those sounds do exist up here.
But the one I here most often, aside from light traffic noise on Black Mountain Drive and dogs barking, is a chainsaw. Lots of fire mitigation work. Lots of tree felling for wood heat. Lots of people, I think, who just like their chainsaws. Me, included.
Then there are the motorcycles. Our neighbors, Eduardo and Holly, run a business selling steampunk gear to women riders. They have two Harleys. Motorcyclists come up here more often than bicyclists, riding in packs or alone, enjoying the mountain scenery and the fresh air. There are other motorheads up here including Jude our welder neighbor and the family two doors down that never got over the whole Volkswagen thing from the 60’s.
These folks, I think, and many of our other neighbors live up here as a base camp for canoeing, riding, climbing, 4×4 adventures off road, skiing. If you’re already in the mountains, it’s easier to explore them.
In the winter there is the scrape and drag of Jefferson County snowplows and the intermittent pushing and engine revving of private snowplowers, the whine of snowblowers.
Oddly, much of the time our home in Andover was quieter than it is here. And I value quiet. This noise does not, however, upset me. As an older adult, I’m happy to have neighbors close by and having neighbors means living with their habits and passions. Even the noises I’ve described are intermittent and when a heavy snow falls, or mid-day, like right now, or late at night, the silence here is profound.