Interested in Language
Can anybody explain to me the meaning of the bold text in the paragraph below?
"I could hear the trees talkink excitedly to themselves, the orotund baritone of the young hickories, the chatter of the white birches, the deep unworried time-of-day of the oak trees."
Leonrad Cline, The Dark Chamber, 1927
Thanks in advance
This expression is normally encountered in its negative sense, as in "I wouldn't give X the time of day". This means that you want nothing to do with X: you would not even tell him the time if he asked for it. The corollary is that to "give X the time of day" means acknowledging his existence; talking to him for a while. In this context, it conveys that the oak trees are speaking at a normal, regular pace; unlike (for example) the fast-paced chattering of the white birches.
I'm not a teacher of English, but I have spoken it for (almost) all of my life....