Friday, March 12, 2004

Nature Story

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.
-John Muir (American conservationist)

Growing up we did not have a car so I did not visit the Rocky Mountains until I was thirteen and that was only because my siblings and I were taken there by the people who ran the foster home we were living in at the time. It was not until I became an adult that I started spending time in the mountains.

My future husband liked to camp and fish so when I started dating him we would do just that, camp and fish. At first it was a little nerve racking for me. I did not like the quiet and the fact that no one else was around made me jumpy. The whole experience felt dangerous and I was always waiting for Jason (Friday The 13th) to come crashing out of the underbrush waving a hatchet. But, I finally relaxed and started enjoying being there.

One day I was sitting in a folding aluminum lawn chair I had set up at the back of the car reading a book while my husband fished for trout in a stream beside the road. As I read I was conscious of the sounds around me, the muted roar of the water as it raced downstream, the creak of tree branches as the wind blew through them, a mouse scuffling in the fallen leaves, and the buzz of insects. Then a large insect dive bombed me and I instinctively raised my hand to brush it away. It darted out of the way and hovered in the air about a foot in front of me. I looked up and was surprised to see that it wasn't an insect but a humming bird.

It hung there in the air with its wings beating so fast they were a blur. All I could see was its body with the bright scarlet red splash of color on its neck and its green head and long beak. As I wondered why it had buzzed me I remembered I was wearing a red baseball cap. He must have thought I was food and had come to feed. He continued hovering in front of me, first moving a little to the left, then to the right, then dipping down and back up. The next instant he zoomed off. I think he stayed around so long because he was surprised by me and the fact that I was wearing a humming bird feeder on my head. From that moment on I felt completely at home in the mountains.

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