Chicago winter – late afternoon yesterday
outside my building

We’ve emerged from subzero temperatures here in Chicago, but as winter has gripped the outside with ample snow, treacherous streets and salty sidewalks, I’ve been noticing how different the world sounds. Winter, at least in the city, has its own sounds, such as the revving up of an engine and the squealing of tires as a car strains to hump over a parking spot snow dam.

I used to post regular sensory writing exercises here, see sounds of rain or smells of summer, and with the muffled world outside, I thought it might be fun to see what sounds of winter you can come up with, outside and inside. Here are some of mine to prompt you (Please contribute yours in the comment box!):


the scraping of a snow shovel on the sidewalk
the even bigger scraping sound of the snow plow
the squish of snow under boots when you walk
the breaking of ice on a frozen puddle when you step on it
the clinking of ice floes as they bump against each other on the heaving lake


the crackling of a wood fire
the clang of steam radiators and the hiss of their valves releasing steam
the whirr of cold-air humidifiers

Ok, I’m getting carried away. Do think about it and contribute your sounds of winter! Especially if you’re living in the country, I’d love to hear what you hear!