This week was a little more of a reality check in regards to the lecture content and the science behind our Natural History. While I pride myself on having knowledge of earthquakes, which hasn’t watched a documentary or participated in an earthquake drill or two, I am afraid I am like a fish out of water when it comes to the science of earthquakes. I am realizing that I am going to really need to follow up on what we are learning, take exceptional notes and go beyond the classroom in order to understand what we are talking about. It is a little intimidating to be in a class full of peers already light years ahead of me in knowledge. Words are being tossed around that I have never even heard of let alone know the definition of. Jokes are being made and although I laugh along, “it was all Greek to me”. [1]

 

The cinnamon ridge adventure was in word, incredible. My eyes were open and ready to take in the rolling hills of cinnamon browns. I was pleasantly surprised to see little of the cinnamon at all, instead I was met with tawny browns scattered along the hillside with peanut specs and umber swirls. I suppose it is all dependent on the sun as to what colors you will see littering the landscape. As we meandered up the steep curving slope I noted hundreds of large sagebrush soaking in the sun, bunches of different grasses thriving between the sagebrush and little clusters of prickly pears. A little white cabbage butterfly was patrolling the hillside drinking in the last bit of nectar off the golden yellow flowers of the rabbit bush.

 

Once we had made it up the first of many hills, we took a moment to take in the serene countryside. All around us large Hoodoos stood like guardians of the mountainside. The lone mountain survivors of mother natures beat down through erosion, wind and rain. As I scanned the peaks of the sandstone and honey colored hoodoos I noticed a giant boulder nesting on one of the peaks corner edges. Beside the boulder was a smaller one that looked suspended in the air. They quickly took form as an old woman and her somersaulting grand child. The tired old woman was absorbing the sun, head held high, eyes shut, peaceful as if in a prayer. The grandchild was mid flip gleefully awaiting the jolt of flopping back down onto the dusty earth. It looked as though they were frozen in time, frozen in a moment of bliss.

 

Of all the things I saw on this journey, from tiny charcoal volcanic rocks to the giant cayenne hoodoos, the one thing what will stick with me was a giant abandoned spider web. It was not something I noticed at first, as it was invisible until the sunrays exposed the silky strands with a shimmering glow. It stretched between three pine trees waiting to catch the unsuspecting insects dancing through the trees. It was amazing to me that the web was empty and yet there were so many bugs boomeranging between the trees where the web was so methodically placed. I can only conclude that the insects are a lot more aware of their surroundings than I ever imagined. It makes me realize how unaware I am, and how I desperately need to change it.

[1] William Shakespeare, The Tragedy of Julius Caeser (1599)