With the beginning of Daylight Savings Time, Powder stays open later, until 8pm. I prefer going later in the day, as it’s quieter. Fewer people, more birds and deer.
Tonight, yesterday’s storm was very evident. I was somewhat surprised to see how many trees were torn up. In some places, half the trees were down. Since Powder is a Conservation area, all the park rangers do is remove the trees from the path and let them lie where they fall.
Already amidst the broken tree trunks, squirrels were running about grabbing what they could for nests and birds were flying in and around the branches looking for food. We forget when we witness the devastation to our homes and businesses that storms are actually healthy for the forests and the plains.
The sun was starting to set and it was getting cooler; I headed back to the car. When there, down the road a short ways, an entire herd of white tail deer were feeding along the edge of the woods. The setting sun painted the bushes around me in shades of raspberry and peach, as I leaned against the car to watch the deer. Two male cardinals chased each other around the bushes and over in the dirt by the road, a robin was hopping about looking for food. Other birds, too small to identity flitted about, enjoying the last of the sun’s warmth.
While I watched, the next song in my “Bittersweet” playlist started playing: the beautiful sounds of Israel Kamakawiwoòle singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Listening to the song, feeling the sun, watching the birds and the deer, as trees still standing, edged with purple and green, were surrounded by trees just ended–the thought came to me that the story of my life could have come to a close at that moment, and it would have been a good ending.