All Nature Sings. . .

This has been a special fall for me. While it is my fifth at Elk Lake, it is the first I have actually spent here. Family obligations and other demands have found us elsewhere. However, this year we have spent many enjoyable days watching the Centennial Valley change from late fall to early winter.

While things are still not very ‘white', the miracle around me has been amazing to observe. I have enjoyed the return of the elk (who wander farther up the mountain during the summer's heat), and I have enjoyed a few experiences I did not even know I was missing. Dozens of Trumpeter swans lining the ice along an open patch of water. Glimpses of rabbits in their winter white and tracks in abundance. The return of the moose. However, my most incredible fall experience is not in what I've seen, but in what I've heard.

"This is my Father's world, and to my listening ears,
all nature sings and round me rings, the music of the spheres."

Maltbie Babcock loved God's creation. How can I be so sure? While some would recognize creation's visual beauty, others its diversity, still others its vastness, Babcock begins his famous hymn speaking of creation's voice.

I can honestly say I relish my time up close and personal with God's creation. With repeated exposure I have learned to look deeper, to see some of the intricacies of this marvelous planet we call home for awhile. I've learned to see. Now, I'm learning to hear.

Other creature's voices. A lone coyote or a chorus in four-part harmony. The howling wolves letting us know they are near. Elk bugling their challenge across the canyon. A fox's eery bark. Eagles screaming upon the wind. Sandhills warbling encouragement to their companions. Trumpeter Swans sounding their horn to a listening world.

And the smaller sounds. A wren trilling her morning praise. The wind, whispering in near silence or roaring as a storm passes through. The croaking frogs. The chirping crickets. The tiny spring which giggles quietly as it slips down the hill.

All this and more I have learned to hear. And as I have listened, new sounds have been added to my repertoire. The latest and most amazing - the voice of lake ice.

In previous winters I have been blessed to hear the muted deep bass boom of ice, cracking under its mantel of snow. Recently I have heard the resounding deep bass boom of snow free ice echoing its voice from the nearby hills.

However, the last few days I enjoyed the most amazing sound of all. The warbling wave of the ice's soprano voice, elevated and diminished as it moved back and forth just under the surface. What an amazing sound! What an amazing Creator!

Lady of the Lake

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