It's a sad fact that truly quiet places are becoming increasingly rare in the world. There aren't many places left that aren't regularly interrupted by the drone of cars, lawn mowers, chainsaws and airplanes, even if you head deep into the woods — the farthest you can get away from a road in the continental United States, as the crow flies, is only 22 miles. There are thousands of flights over the same space every day, each adding their own small part to the problem of systemic noise pollution.
NPR had a great story back in September about a team of researchers who were studying the sound signature of Crater Lake National Park in southern Oregon and who kept picking up the sound of airplanes and helicopters flying overhead — even in the most remote sections of the park. Their efforts are part of a larger project undertaken to document human-caused noise pollution across the entire U.S. national park system. Noise pollution is an unwelcome intrusion to people but can also cause negative disruptions in animal populations.
And then check out an earlier post I wrote about the Old Man of the Lake, the giant floating hemlock stump that's been roaming Crater Lake for more than a century.