[Tweeters] Everett's Changing Soundscape

jeff gibson gibsondesign at msn.com
Wed Apr 10 22:11:07 PDT 2013

I have posted before about the Everett soundscape.

One change I've noted is the dearth,in the past several years, of singing House Finches around my area. That still holds true. Maybe they got tired of singing. Maybe they got Sudden Finch Death Syndrome. Or maybe a generation of 'em got poisoned by the bad bird food put out by that doodyhead corporation a few years ago.I really don't know; but I do know that a singing House Finch is kinda hard to miss, and I'm missing them here at home. It's not like they're going extinct or anything- I am hearing them down by the Anchor Pub for instance, and here and there- it's just that the numbers are way down and have been for about 3 years now. I hope we don't have to call in Stewart Brand and the Merry DNA Prankster's to revive this species.

Another change is the arrival of our new Noisy Neighbor. That would be Eurasian Collared Doves (aka 'them collard doves') who arrived on my scene in North Everett last year when a pair showed up in Summer and stayed. While gone for the Winter ,it seemed, they showed up early this year- early March- and have been coo-cooing away at an increasingly earlier hour each week. Now giving wake up calls about 7am. If you need this bird for your Everett list you could work it into your next hospital visit if you need to be scanned for cats or something. Just walk across Colby Ave from Providence North to the NW neighborhood park, and if you don't hear them go back into Providence and have your hearing checked. Them doves is loud.

The biggest change in Everett's soundscape lately, has been the demise of the giant Kimberly- Clark paper mill on the waterfront. While providing a lot of well-paying jobs for years, ol' Kimberly was also a big giver to the community in a number of other ways, such as air, and water pollution.

But one of Kim's greatest gifts was noise pollution. She sure was loud! You might not think about it as your toilet paper sits there quietly in your bathroom, but the birthing process of this product is incredibly loud. Like most all urban dwellers I had developed various mental filters to push back all that noise over the past 26 years I've lived here- the main background sound of all of the west side of north Everett. I was able to enjoy this sound even more down at the Anchor Pub, a near neighbor of the mill, particularly on late closing nights when, at 3am or so, the mill would blow out all it's crap (while normal people were all sleeping) with an incredible roar.

And then, in March last, it was over. The absence of noise somewhat shocking - like when snow in the city mostly shuts down the freeway traffic and you wake up because it's too quiet. The gorilla in the living room just stopped snoring sort of thing.

My Personal Best soundscape change as a result of this new quiet, was the addition of amphibians to my home sound list. For years I was green with frog-envy because friends just North of my place could hear the Pacific Chorus Frogs, on the nearby golf course, from their house. All we had was noisy ol' Kim, and the hospital. But just last week I went outside late at night to water the dog and - a miracle!- I could hear the frogs from my house! Barely, and not from my nearby couch, but still pretty cool.

Jeff Gibson
ears on
Everett Wa

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