Rt. 141

Rt. 141, Dawn

Rt. 141, Noon

Rt. 141, Dusk

Rt. 141, Midnight

Spectrogram: Midnight Recording

Spectrogram of Rt 141 midnight recording

Across the highway from the Tavern on the Hill, a sign prohibits access to the Reservation Road, which winds through the mountainous terrain. This doesn’t stop some from strolling along the closed-off road in clusters. This area is generally forested with hardwoods, which I imagine would buffer the sounds of the highway, and offer a sense of shelter from the surrounding steetlights and glow from the tavern. In early October 2014, however, a microburst inflicted damage on this face of the mountain. All other Mount Tom locations were unscathed, but in this place, the trees were torn, split, and shattered. Many snags of dead or wounded trees remain, and branches and trunks are strewn across the ground. The scent of sawdust hangs in the air, and sawn logs show recent efforts to clear the area for safe entrance. Where canopies once arched overhead, a gaping hole exposes airplanes and, on occasion, a hang glider in the sky. The microphone captures the sounds of wind howling in the open area, crickets in the debris, and cars passing by. In a few years, when the trees have rotted, they may become the habitats for cavity dwellers, and new saplings may begin to fill the space.