An airplane just flew by my house, its passage marked by a real dramatic rumbling off in the night distance. Normally I don’t notice this kind of thing but then again, I know what an airplane is. I know what one sounds like.
While it’s fun, also, to think about how people in the ‘60s, having never seen or heard a jet, reacted to one flying by, I think perhaps the more relevant question is this: good God, what must animals be thinking when, at 11:30 p.m. (not that they’re keeping track of the time to begin with) they hear one of these ridiculous machines tear through the sky? Sure, any animal alive today will likely have acclimated to the sound of an occasional plane as a fact of life, but how do they reconcile what is essentially a roar that would rival any lion’s with the fact that it poses no immediate danger to them? And how long would I (as a deer or moose, perhaps) have to wait after hearing a plane overhead before deciding, okay, it is safe enough once again to continue grazing?
These are the kinds of things that keep me up at night. Also the planes.
Image: Mikaela Collins/The Cascade