The challenge for one of our last photo-challenge weeks was “silence.” This was in December, and the examples showed lots of images with snow. Well, where I live in north Texas, we rarely get snow. I live in a small city (Sherman, Texas) with major highways both north-south and east-west, so there is traffic noise, essentially 24-7-365. And there is an active railroad, with rail yard, about a mile from my house. So we almost never experience true silence.
To get my photo, I took a field trip into southern Oklahoma, to a place that I have posted about before, Ten Acre Rock, which is an outcrop of Precambrian granite (this one is Tishomingo granite). The granite cooled at depth about 1.3 billion years ago, and it contains large phenocrists of feldspar, mica, and quartz:
I took several photos:
But none of them in the end really captured “silence” for me, partly because although Ten Acre Rock is about 4 miles from any highway, I could still hear traffic noise, and there is a railroad, so I heard trains.
On the drive back to Sherman, I took the scenic route. I stopped at an overlook called Nida Point in Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge. The overlook was right off the highway, but this was a highway that carries very little traffic. It was a gray, cloudy day with no wind. There were no boats out, and no railroads nearby, so there was almost complete silence. This is near a broad expanse of Lake Texoma:
Here is the image I submitted, of an old, gnarly post oak on the bluff above the lake:
The silent place that I have been to most frequently (at least recently) is Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, which is about halfway up Mauna Kea on the windward slope. The refuge is several miles from the only nearby town of any size, Hilo (you can see Hilo on the right side of the sedond photo), which is not a very big town and there are no major highways running through it. There are no sources of human-produced sound near the refuge, so there is complete silence. Some images from Hakalau Forest: