Friday, January 10, 2014

The Sounds of Winter

Chicago winter - late afternoon yesterday
outside my building
We've emerged from subzero temperatures here in Chicago, but as winter has gripped the outside with ample snow, treacherous streets and salty sidewalks, I've been noticing how different the world sounds. Winter, at least in the city, has its own sounds, such as the revving up of an engine and the squealing of tires as a car strains to hump over a parking spot snow dam.

I used to post regular sensory writing exercises here, see sounds of rain or smells of summer, and with the muffled world outside, I thought it might be fun to see what sounds of winter you can come up with, outside and inside. Here are some of mine to prompt you (Please contribute yours in the comment box!):

Outside:

the scraping of a snow shovel on the sidewalk
the even bigger scraping sound of the snow plow
the squish of snow under boots when you walk
the breaking of ice on a frozen puddle when you step on it
the clinking of ice floes as they bump against each other on the heaving lake

Inside:

the crackling of a wood fire
the clang of steam radiators and the hiss of their valves releasing steam
the whirr of cold-air humidifiers

Ok, I'm getting carried away. Do think about it and contribute your sounds of winter! Especially if you're living in the country, I'd love to hear what you hear!

10 comments:

  1. Ooh fun exercise! Well - you caught a lot of the good sounds. Yesterday I heard chunks of snow falling off of the roof as the snow melted. In the car the fans for the window defroster are so loud I can't hear my kids talk to me from the back seat. Of course don't forget the muffled quiet outside when the snow is deep that really accentuates those scraping shovels and plows. :)

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    1. Steph - I love that muffled quiet outside that lots of snow brings on! That is truly a sound, or perhaps a "non-sound" of winter!

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  2. Yes Annette, you were hit with frigid cold weather. Burrrrr. I, on the other hand, have had warm weather. There is no crunching of snow or scraping of plows. Nor the pitter patter of rain drops that hit the window. Although the leaves have fallen off the trees so we are missing the chirping of the birds in the trees. But I do like the sound of the breaking waves while walking along the beach. :) Stay warm Annette! :)

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    1. Karen, you're bringing on the sounds of summer with the crashing waves!

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  3. How about the drip, drip, drip of icicles as they begin to melt? Or the sound of ice skates across an icy pond?

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    1. Nancy, I love the sound of ice skates scraping! Which reminds me, I have to make it to the ice rink this winter!

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  4. When it's really cold, the crunch of boots on snow is a sound that you never hear any other time of year.

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    1. William, indeed, it almost has a crinkling to it, doesn't it?

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  5. Annette, there are many peaceful winter sounds. The quietness of a neighborhood walk after a deep, fresh snow fall. The muffled, muted sounds of a commuter train's wheels and engine as it passes creating one of few peaceful, mechanical sounds. Finally, a gentle stillness when driving after a fresh snowfall. Thank you for thoughts. Frank

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    1. Franklin, thanks for your winter impressions! I can tell you spend a lot of time on trains... :-)

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