A Frosted Canyon

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Tiny droplets of water tighten and expand into snowflakes, each with a unique design. They flake towards the ground, taking their time as they swirl with the wind. Some land on the rocks, combining with the other millions of snowflakes and creating a bed of powdery crystal that hides the rocks’ original orange. Others slide into tiny puddles, melting into the liquid and vanishing to become part of the icy shallows. And still others gather on the frozen leaves and pine cones, smothering the conifer trees with tiny bits of shattered glass. The snowflakes fall from the heavens and create an icy mist over the canyon.


A giant sphere covered in glow-in-the-dark paint hangs by an invisible thread in the dark sky. It casts a luminous glow over the canyon, setting a mystical mood throughout the air. As the trees sway in the wind, the moon’s light is broken and thrown over the snow like eerie searchlights. Its glow occasionally catches a glimpse of a falling snowflake, which creates a split-second sparkle lighting up the entire canyon like the flash of a camera. The silver glare floats over the snow and observes that everything is perfect for the day’s beginning. The moon is watching.


An invisible force sweeps throughout the canyon, howling with combined feelings of rage and delight; the night is nearly past, yet daybreak is still to come. The wind sweeps throughout the tree branches, throwing snowflakes off of the leaves and watches them sprinkle onto the blanket of white below. Its compelling nature declares war upon the tiny flakes of snow, scattering them in various directions to claim his victory. It scopes the Eastern horizon for a hint of light, and quietly dies down when the sun begins to rise. The wind must cease, for it is nearly light and the animals must wake to a placid morning.


The moon’s shift is complete. It hesitantly falls so as to allow the sun time to warm the canyon. As the moon cowers away, a great ball of molten gold is launched across the sky. Its tawny glow warms the canyon and casts saffron rays over the sparkling snow. As the wind dies down and the trees become still, everything basks in the warm sunlight. The plants cock the tips of their branches towards the sun to absorb the warmth and welcome a new morning. When the trees can feel their trunks once more, the sun directs its rays towards the birds’ frosted nests. It is time to wake.


The cardinals are the first to stir. They squint their eyes at the bright sun, and shake the few flakes of snow off their heads. As they stretch and flap their wings, the loose layer of snow that rims their nests drifts to the ground. The first chirps sound, but their echoes are lost over the canyon. Within seconds, the air is filled with the sweet tune of high-pitched chirps. Every bird calls to another, and every chirp is answered. The cold, frozen world is awake and cheery once more.


The birds’ racket calls upon the other animals to wake. The deer flick their ears at the sound, and slowly tread out of their cozy shelters and into the light. The chipmunks and squirrels unfurl their tails from around their frail bodies and scuttle out into the sunshine, leaving a tiny trail behind them. The bighorn sheep slowly open their eyes and shake the melting snow from their wool coats. Even the coyotes and bobcats leave their caves to bathe in the Colorado River and begin their morning hunt. The animals welcome the beautiful morning, and begin their daily routines.


Tiny snowflakes loosen and melt into drops of water. They fall towards the ground, a direct route with no wind to push them off course. Some land on the rocks, combining with the millions of snowflakes and melting the bed of powdery crystal that once concealed the rocks’ original orange. Others drop into tiny puddles, combining with the liquid and vanishing to become part of the icy shallows. And still others descend upon on the leaves and pine cones, melting the tiny bits of shattered glass that smother the evergreen trees. The raindrops cease and the snow is nearly melted. It is no longer a frosted canyon.





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