The Living Forest

October 30, 2011
By Roast BRONZE, Sacramento, California
Roast BRONZE, Sacramento, California
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

The sharp, icy air of dawn was the reminiscence of the frozen night, chilling everything it passed. The dark firs stood still, like leviathan giants of mythological creation, creaking and groaning from the occasional breezes, disturbing the peaceful mountain mist. Slow melodic trickling tinkles from melted snow flows over the hard unforgiving rocks. The first beams of glowing sunlight find openings in the needle like leaves, giving signs to smooth, checkered moths and ridged stag beetles to retreat to their sanctuaries. In an instant, the once chill morning air begins to warm. Nature’s reveille shatters the silenced air. The shrieking eagle soars away, the messenger traveling the skies to reawaken the world.

In the cloudless peak blue sky, the early sun is seemingly ineffectual. At this hour, it is merely a token of resemblance, a copy of what could be omnipotent. Its silent rays merely signal to the active creatures of the mountains to begin their work. A black bear wanders the unmarked paths, snapping knobbed twigs and dry leaves with each step it takes. Pausing only to check for natural delicacies, it quickly moves on, leaving the area vacant for other omnivorous organisms to experience the pine smelling air. Six legged construction workers move in a straight line over the earth, ordered by their queen for tedious toil. They refuse to stop at the slightest distraction, whether it is a pile of sweet tangy blackberries, or vibrant and toxic mushrooms, coming in a family pack of reds, yellows, purples, greens, browns, and blues. Nearby, the perfect rhythm of a woodpecker’s percussion solo sounds out in the forest. Dull, yet accurate, straight eighths of beak striking bark tells the forest that the tree doctor is in. In the afternoon, a distant cousin also sings her song. Perched upon a carefully picked sturdy branch, the sparrow lets out an array of harmonious notes, vibrating with tone like a freshly made metal xylophone, which bounce back from the conifers like sandy, orange ping pong balls being slugged by a fifty ounce baseball bat.

The reign of the sun ends all too quickly. The fiery ball of gas sets its horizontal position and blasts the mountain sides with intense flows of dark reds and flashing oranges. The bitter, dry dust floats in the last glows of the light, dancing and soaring about, just like the sulphurs and fritillaries that were playing just hours ago. Seemingly, an instant later, the shining, luminous circle is swallowed up by the black rises of mountains. Although still warm, the day’s heat evaporates, getting cooler by the minute. The long line of working ants now returns back to where they can stay out of harm’s way for the night. All the melodious birds leave their street performances to get back home. The fine odor of living pine needles tanning in the light is replaced by the cold smell of brisk night air. The mountain forest is now still, except for the soft hooting of a great grey owl, marking the start of the pitch black night.

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