And like that, the storm has passed. The morning is ever clear and gorgeous, yet it is by far the windiest one I have seen on Reservation. The wind - as it is back home in Johnson - drowns out all thoughts and drives with force into every concieveable space outside.
“Always there has been an adventure just around the corner - and the world is still full of corners.”
- Roy Chapman Andrews (January 26, 1884 – March 11, 1960)
A famous paleontologist, explorer, and naturalist, Andrews was THE inspiration for Indiana Jones. He is most well known for his expeditions in 1920s Mongolia where, in search of human and mammal origins in the Gobi Desert, they found dinosaur species (Velociraptor, Oviraptor, Protoceratops, Psittacosaurus, etc) instead. One of the findings, a Protoceratops nest, were the first dinosaur eggs ever discovered.
By day's end the clouds broke again over the freshly green hillside. This time, I looked up to behold a truly spectacular sight. Slipping on my shoes, I dashed outside to see the sunset. Above me, the northwestern skies were alight with intense beauty. It looked as if the entire were ablaze like some great fire - though the subtle, cool touch of the breeze upon my neck grounded me in reality.
And just as suddenly as it appeared, the sunset vanished within the depths of the night. I have seen many a setting sun, but none had me as awestruck as this evening's.
As the late afternoon sky cleared over Gilmanton, I descended down the hillside. The only thing to betray my presence were the sunken footprints I left behind. Thick January snow, frosted over from the morning’s rain, crunched beneath my boots in subtle protest. My wandering was largely aimless, leading me past Lake Eileen, whose waters rippling in the breeze were covered by a monotone sheet of ice. Travelling beside the lake, I felt out of place. With my dusky blue coat and black boots, I was like a shadow silently drifting across the blinding landscape. Further along were a row of cabins. The middle one, where the girls had stayed during the summer, had a hollow look with the absence of lantern light. Not far off was the chapel. One of the newer buildings of the reservation, I always thought it had a unique design. Now that snow sat atop its angled, vaulted roof, it had a distinctly Scandinavian look to it.
Boredom is quite a curious thing. It frustratingly tills away at the head, Yet from it new ideas start to spring Like flowers in a fertile bed
The seeds of imagination have been sown And from there stems creativity As one begins to look at a stone Thinking of ways to decorate the home Or practice their hand at poetry Writing about places they roam
Boredom is not always fun It makes me feel rather blind Though it gives time for things to be done And that I do not mind.
As the previous night’s storm abates, it leaves behind thick tendrils that cling to the low lying conifers and shrubs. By mid morning the clouds begin to retreat. With them the fog begins to lift, revealing a shaded figure atop the hillside. A male Diadectes. Just over five feet in length, he is a simple creature, though robust and strongly built. The coolness of the air leaves him sluggish, though his energy steadily increases with the rising of the sun. His stout, scaly fingers cling to the rough stones as hunger drives him toward a copse of young Annularia. There is a rustling in the plants ahead of him, clear and acute in the quiet mountain air. He stops as another Diadectes appears from among the branches. He is smaller in build, but confident in posture. If anything, he almost seemed annoyed at the presence of the larger male, as if disturbed in the middle of a meal.
The sun leaves behind another day. But today was different. The blazing orb paints a dramatic picture as it reflects off the slender clouds. The unique energy and odd contrasts of the day are perfectly reflected in the sunset.
Today was a day of aching tears and of hearty laughter.
A day of lingering snow and of unexpected warmth.
A day of failure and success.
A day of shattering sorrow and of pure happiness.
Like dark, solemn figures, the trees try to block the western brightness - but with little success. From my bed, I watch as a splash of color leaps across my room, filling every open space. From my window, I see the sun peak from behind the trees - a last, brilliant greeting among the drab monotony of the forest. It's as if the great entity were there to tell me something. All is well.
Through the heartache, there are still things to enjoy in the world.
Shadows lengthen as the great ball of fire lowers over the horizon. In anticipation of the coming darkness, the forest is silent - save for tangible crack carried in the humid breeze. With a rustling of ferns small mammals scramble into their burrows. Not a moment too soon. The broken tree limbs is followed by a muffled creaking as a large creature moves along with slow, heavy laden steps. Pushing through a swath of conifer branches, a robust, round snout appears. Its toothy mouth opens to grunt in protest as the brances slap against its scaly hide. A slender arm reaches up to part the plants with hooked claws, revealing the rest of the animal. Out walks a dinosaur. Stomach full from a tender carcass and nostrils filled with the smell of crisp pine resin, the Gasosaurus is content. She decides to stand in the subtle clearing for a moment, relishing the warm rays as the run along her eleven foot length.