Every day, a photograph, a poem. As I searched my photos for places of awareness and change, I remembered this drive across Highway 20, a scenic and beautiful drive across Washington State. Beautiful views.
I decided to write poetry and create art based on this photo:
Hymn in the Mountains
In the mountains of Highway 20 in the summer a green lake beckons travelers to stop and gaze at nature’s beauty, though the lake is a reservoir behind a large dam. On hot days, this highway— in the North Cascades —is a cool and scenic drive. Closed in winter due to avalanche danger, it draws visitors as soon as the road opens again. Lately, the highway has been closed in summer, due to the wildfires of global warming.
In 2017 we drove across in July, enjoying the mountain heights and forest greenery, breathtaking views and a respite from the heat of the valleys of eastern Washington.
Stopping at Ross Lake, we found no other vacationers in the usually busy highway rest area of scenic views. As we stepped out of the van, the reason for few people blew us, literally, back into the car. We pushed the doors against the wind and let them slam back closed after grabbing our jackets. We turned our backs against the wind and spun around to put on each sleeve, finally able to wrap the jacket tightly around and lean against the wind to walk the paths and stretch our legs after hours of riding.
At the edge of granite boulders, gazing down across the tops of pine and fir, we witnessed the wind surfing the emerald lake with waves and ripples easily viewed from our vantage point far up the mountain. And the whistle of the wind and the “EEEE” of the pika hiding in the rocks sang to us as the only evidence of other companions.
Emerald waves racedSheri Edwards
forest shore to more, hymn
by wind and pika.
Resources on Ross Lake
- National Park Service
- National Park Foundation
- Pika: National Geographic
- Pika: National Wildlife Federation
- Pika: Wikipedia
- Pika: Pronunciation Merriam-Webster
- Note: Pikas cannot survive when the temperature reaches above 77.9° F — Global Warming places them in danger
National Park Service Video
CBC Docs Pika Video
Nature, Poetry, and Art by Sheri Edwards
Geeky Gramma ~~
Retired Middle School Language Arts/Media Teacher ~~
Writer and Thinker~~
Art from the Heart