A participle in an absolute construction
- always has a subject
- relates to an entire clause or action
- stands in no clear grammatical relationship to another element in the
A present participle in an absolute, as in your example, describes an action/state more or less simultaneous to the one in the main clause:
The train came to an abrupt halt, the locomotive's brakes screeching loudly, our car shaking from the impact of one carriage crushing into another. — Wolfgang W. E. Samuel, German Boy: A Refugee’s Story, 2009.
Melinda sat sideways, her legs dangling out the door of the SUV while she ate the meal her mom had brought her. — Chantilly White, Snow Angel, 2014.
The storm unrelenting, he called them, “Gotta check on you two. Want me to drive down to help? Sure, I was there earlier today, but you two are more than worth a second visit in the same day.” — Mark Henry Miller, Murder in the Chapel, 2013.
A perfect participle indicates a prior action in the past, analogous to the past perfect in standard past-tense narration:
The holiday was full of adventure; I remember hearing my mother whispering the Lord’s Prayer as we crawled along the cliff road in search of a garage, our car having developed a serious mechanical problem with the axle. — Lee Arbouin, The Nottingham Connection, 2012, 252.
The road extends from Erie to the Michigan-Ohio line and the inspection was made preparatory to work the coming summer, the road having been recently taken over by the county. — Michigan Roads and Construction, vol. 22 (1925),150.
A past participle in an absolute occasionally cues an action or state already completed:
The battle won again, he dove under his bedcovers and waited whilst she tucked him in. — Aldrea Alien, The Rogue King, 2014.
But most of the time, it is descriptive background:
The American flag hanging from a pole in the interior clapped sharply with every gust of wind, its colors muted gray in the faint light. — Jordanna Max Brodsky, Winter of the Gods, 2017.
Then as he racked his memory, he heard the sharp crackling of a fusillade; he saw a standard fall before him, its staff broken and its folds drooping like the wings of a bird brought down by a shot. — Emile Zola, The Fortune Of The Rougons, 2016.
The memories were banished and he was left in the dark bedroom, standing near the prince's bed, the silence broken by his thoughtless murmur. — Ash Stinson, The Broken Soldier, 2014, 264.
If the participle is a form of to be, it is frequently omitted, leaving it to the reader to supply being or having been according to context.
The journey finally over, we were washed up on the shore of day, given sweet orange juice to drink and shood gently on our way by a silent person in a Green Man Mask.