Tag Archives: forest

The Silent Scream

2

The forest was thick with the smell of pine and screech owls glided overhead. Patches of thick heavy fog hung low to the ground and left her feeling vulnerable. She was careful not to walk too fast, as she couldn’t quite see where she was going or what she was stepping upon. The ground was soft and squishy and with each step she took, her boots sunk deeper into the boggy terrain. She wrapped her parka tighter around her chilled body and hoped that it wouldn’t be too long before she found her way back to the cabin.

The day had been unusually warm for this time of year and so she had decided to go for a nice long walk in the woods. She didn’t really think about where she was planning on going and ended up letting her imagination flood her mind and in the process ended up leaving her good judgement behind. Eventually, she realized that she had lost her sense of direction and had been wandering around the forest for several hours. She tried desperately to find her way back, but was quite sure that she was just walking around in circles.

The trees were so tall in this part of the forest, that she could barely see the sky through the canopy of endless evergreen pine needles. She did the only thing that she could think to do and just kept walking. She walked deeper into the forest and noticed that the terrain was quickly changing. The day was fading fast and the forest had become eerily quiet. Every twig she stepped upon, echoed in the cool night air and dark shadows formed all around her, causing the forest to turn into a frightful and foreboding place.

She pressed on though and searched for an open place where she could at least sit down and rest and hopefully be lucky enough to capture a glimpse of the North Star to help her find her way. As she continued on, the ground only became more difficult to navigate and soon she was so deep into the marshland, that she could barely lift her feet at all. She wanted to turn back, but she couldn’t remember from which way she had come.

The screech owls were back again, their frightful cries caused her to shiver and tremble in fear. Suddenly she heard a twig snap from behind her and she whirled herself around as fast as she could. To her surprise and great relief, it was only a raccoon and so she continued to trudge through the soggy soil as best she could.

A little while later, she heard another twig snap and figured that her little friend must be back, but as she turned around, she discovered a man instead. He was nearly twice her size and his cold hard stare caused her to stumble backwards. His eyes were black as coal and he wore a long dark trench coat that was covered in mud and torn in several places. In one lengthy step he closed the gap between them.

She tried to scream, but no sound came. She felt her body begin to plummet into a black hole of oblivion. The last thing she saw before she broke free of his evil gaze, was the edge of a silver blade, saturated in a thick red substance, which was trickling down upon the watery ground below. The droplets pulsed through the murky waters and formed beautiful patterns that glistened in the moonlight.

Startled awake by this haunting dream, she woke up in a cold sweat and wondered where she was. She sat upright, trying to adjust her eyes to the darkness and breathed a sigh of relief when she realized that everything had all just been a crazy dream. She laid back down and tried to fall back to sleep, unaware of the screech owl perched on a low hanging branch just outside her window and the large muddy footprints on the floor just outside of her bedroom.

Written by, Michelle Cook


Originally posted: November 6, 2015

Photo credit: pixabay.com

Betrayed – Part 6

sad-girl-dp-for-fb

The continuing story… Part 5 can be found here.

Scarlett awoke the next morning, feeling light-headed and nauseous.  After attempting to sit up, a searing pain pierced her right temple and then something warm began to trickle down the side of her face.  After feeling around, she noticed a fairly sizeable gash just above her right eyebrow.  The sight of blood always left her unsteady and this time was no exception.  Succumbing to the overwhelming dizziness, she laid back down on the cool mossy floor; trying to remember where she was and how she had gotten there.  As she looked around, everything seemed blurry and the sounds of the forest echoed unnaturally.  A passing cloud made room for an unexpected ray of light and Scarlett caught a glimpse of something shiny.  She reached up with bloodied hands and found an oval shaped locket resting against her chest.  The gold hinged covering was now partially broken off and inside she could see the image of a very handsome young man.  She began to wonder who he was, when suddenly another sharp pain shot through her head.  Once the throbbing began to subside, she looked at the locket once more.  She couldn’t take her eyes off the man in the photograph.  There was something eerily familiar about him and yet she couldn’t seem to remember him at all.

To be continued…


Photo credit: myfacebookdp.blogspot.com

Betrayed – Part 5

sad-girl-dp-for-fb

The continuing story… Part 4 can be found here.

Darkness now engulfed her as the wind howled through the trees.  Shivering from the cold, Scarlett sat curled up under a large tree; trying desperately to shield herself from the gusty winds and pelting rains.  The sounds of the forest left her uneasy, and every time she heard a loud noise close to her, she strained her eyes to see what it might be.  Completely worn out from the events of the day, she eventually began to doze off.  She was soon startled awake when a sudden bolt of lightning struck a nearby tree.  Scarlett immediately jumped up, and in her dazed sleepy state, she started running through the forest, scared for her life.   As she ran, another bolt of lightning struck close by.  For a brief moment, she thought she saw the dark figure of a man.  Before she could look again, the light faded and the pitch black forest engulfed her once more.  After being left partially blinded by the sudden flash of light and confused by what she thought she had seen, she promptly tripped over a fallen tree, causing her head to hit an old rotting stump.  From that moment on, her world became a hazy blur.  Her eyes wouldn’t focus any longer, and the sounds of the forest were muffled and faint.  She tried to muster enough strength to pick herself up off the forest floor, but at last her body gave way to her injuries and soon only darkness remained.

To be continued… Part 6 can be found here.


Photo credit: myfacebookdp.blogspot.com

Betrayed – Part 4

sad-girl-dp-for-fb

The continuing story… Part 3 can be found here.

As night approached, Scarlett began to feel a sense of dread wash over her.  Dark billowy clouds were rolling in from the west.  It looked as if she was about to cross paths with an advancing storm, and without shelter, she knew she was in trouble.  The trunk was too heavy and too deeply embedded in the sand to move by herself, so without further hesitation, she continued on.  She walked the length of the beach, which seemed to continue on for several miles.  After walking for at least an hour, she could go no further.  The tide was coming in, and her path was blocked by a sheer limestone cliff.  Her only other option at this point was to negotiate the tree line, with the hope of finding safe refuge beyond the desolate beach.  Scarlett was apprehensive about crossing over into the thicket.  At least on the beach, she could see what was around her, but within the confines of the forest, she knew she would be facing the unknown.  And yet with darkness pressing in and a storm about to break forth, she began to meander her way through the dense vegetation; hopeful to find a place to shield herself from the coming storm.

To be continued… Part 5 can be found here.


Photo credit: myfacebookdp.blogspot.com

Magical

magic forest

Magical…

Mystifying manifests of seemingly unreachable proportions

Ascertaining the existence of a world unbeknownst to most

Glimmering foresight of majestically splendid ethereal beings

Insightful dereliction’s unleashed in cataclysmic proportions

Conjecture of a belief that shimmers abundantly in the dark

Alighting a lost pathway to unfurled knowledge and wisdom

Luminescent fluctuations of inner life dancing spontaneously     

 

Written by, Michelle Cook


Photo found at:  faith-in-fashion.blogspot.com

Day 3 of our 21 day adventure

IMG_0356 copy for WP

The alarm goes off, it’s 4:00 a.m. I am eager to start another day and so is Brian. After getting ready and packing the car, we head to the front desk to check-out. The staff is friendly here at the Comfort Inn and they offer to serve us breakfast early. It’s only 5:00 a.m. and my stomach doesn’t quite feel like it’s ready for food yet. But how can I really pass up a free meal? We sit quietly in the dining room; eating and catching a quick news update from the small television over in the far corner.

It’s 5:15 a.m. now, and our final destination of the day is Idaho Falls. The first thing we do is stop for gas and pray for safe travels as we begin our twelve-hour journey. Before long, we pass through Cody, WY. This is the city that I had originally wanted to stay in and I notice the Buffalo Bill Museum is located up ahead. I consider stopping at the museum, but I know that we already have so much planned for today. I shake the idea out of my mind and continue on. As we near Big Horn National Forest, we come across the city of Sheridan. The view of the mountains from here is unbelievable and I wonder what living here would be like. Just as we reach the base of the mountain, we find ourselves in a small town called Dayton. I begin to file away these places in the back of my mind as potential retirement communities for when we are eventually old and grey.

IMG_0318 copy for WPAs we head up the mountain pass, the towns below become mere specks off in the far distance. It feels like we are the only people who exist on the earth right now. The view is breathtaking from up here and we stop several times to get out and take pictures. I am mesmerized by the tranquility and the views of the valley below. I don’t understand why the mountain is so void of people and I wonder if it’s like this all the time. We wind our way along the tree-lined mountain pass. The pine forest completely covers the landscape for as far as the eye can see. I have never seen so many perfect looking trees in one place before; the colors are bright and vivid, and each one is like a delicate piece of artwork created by a master artist.

IMG_0345 copy for WPAs we near a bend in the road, we start to see the beginning of a lake coming into view. We notice signs for a picnic area and decide to pull over and take a look around. The climb up to the lake area is easily accessible, and when we reach the top, we are thrilled to find that we have the entire lake to ourselves. The lake is completely still and eerily quiet, except for an occasional fish releasing ringlets on the surface of the water. The tranquility of this place reminds me of what I imagine heaven will be like. A soft breeze blows gently across the water and gives me goosebumps. I sense the presence of God all around us; it’s surreal and indescribable the way that this place is making me feel right now. I am tempted to ask Brian if we should renew our vows here. We have been planning to renew our vows somewhere along the way, and it seems like there could be no better place on earth. Something holds me back though and I remain silent, lingering in deep thought. The enchantment is soon broken though, and I remember that we still have so many more places on our agenda. Grudgingly, we walk back to the car and say goodbye to one of the most beautiful places on the face of the earth. We vow to come back someday, perhaps eventually to live out the rest of our days.

IMG_0369 copy for WPAfter driving a little farther down the road, we are now at a place called “Shell Falls.” I can hear the roar of the falls up ahead and run to get a better look. I am now standing in front of the 120 ft. high falls. The water is hitting the granite rocks in the bottom with such force, that the water is spraying back up into the air, forming rainbows in the streaming sun-rays. I didn’t think that anything could compare to the beauty of what we had just seen by the lake, but now I am not so sure. We look around and notice some short hiking trials and decide to explore even more. After taking a million photographs, we head back to the car to continue on our journey.  About an hour has passed and we decide to stop at a visitor center. IMG_0414 copy for WPIt feels good to stretch our legs after our long journey and we walk up to a large dam that overlooks a beautiful lake. After a short tour through the visitor center, we are on our way once more. Shortly after, we drive past a strange looking house, overlooking the road from the top of a hill. IMG_0426 copy for WPThe house looks abandoned and Brian decides to take some pictures. The house leaves us wondering about the history behind it.

After several hours of driving, we are finally nearing Yellowstone National Park. A restaurant up ahead seems inviting and we stop for lunch. After relaxing in the lodge style atmosphere and then perusing the gift shop after a hearty meal, we finally make it to the entrance of Yellowstone National Park. I am excited because I have been here before, and I begin to reminisce about vacationing here with the girls when they were little. As soon as we head through the gates though, I realize that I am not seeing what I remember. Apparently Mother Nature has played a cruel trick on us. Wildfires have completely ruined the spectacular views that once graced this magnificent place. I am shaken by the devastation that is rapidly unfolding all around us. The farther we drive, the worse it gets, and I wonder if the park will ever be able to recover the beauty that was once here. After reveling in such beauty and splendor earlier today and comparing it to what I am seeing now, I am in disbelief and wishing that we hadn’t come here. I am suddenly reminded of a graveyard and sadness begins to overtake me. We keep hoping that around the next bend, we will see some sign of beauty that hasn’t been lost, but unfortunately, that isn’t what we find. IMG_0435 copy for WPAfter driving around for a couple of hours, searching for a part of the forest that isn’t scorched, we find a hiking trail near the lake and decide to stop and explore on foot. Unfortunately, we are greeted with a warning sign that bears are in the area and so the trail has been closed. IMG_0443 copy for WPAfter getting back in the car, we decide to drive a little bit further to see if there is anywhere else we might want to explore. After a little while longer, it becomes apparent that the devastation is never-ending and we decide to head out toward the Grand Tetons.

As we continue on, the Grand Tetons come into view and I am relieved that these mountains are still as beautiful as I remember. Along the way, we find a stopping point near a lake and hike up above a small beach to get a better view. IMG_0505 copy for WPThe mountains look hazy in the background, because of the humidity. People are laughing and having a good time; some are standing over by a small dam, taking pictures and playing in the water. Then there are a few people down below on the beach, playing in the sand. We have found our own little spot, up and out of the way, but I still find myself wishing that we were alone again, like we were this morning at the lake. It has been such a long day and the hours of driving are starting to wear on us.

We head out for the last time today; making our way to Idaho Falls where we will stay for the night. After getting a bit turned around, we finally find our way to the hotel and are pleasantly surprised to find that they are offering us a free dinner. We only have about an hour before dinner ends, so we quickly unpack the car and head down to the dining room for dinner. Soup and salad are what is being offered and I am glad that I am not very hungry, since the food on the buffet is almost gone. After such a long day, we talk about the things we have seen so far and the places we’ve been. We’ve had enough memories already to last us a lifetime.

Our Latest Adventure

Just wanted to share our most recent trip to the park with all of you.  It was quite muddy that day, but at least there weren’t too many bugs lurking about.  We had a blast despite ending up with mud caked to the bottom of our shoes. 🙂

Monroe 7This was the start of the path leading into the woods from the children’s play area.  Every time I see a path like this, I feel inspired to write something  about it.  The woods were so tranquil and quiet.  The only sounds that could be heard were the faint rustle of the leaves in the wind and the birds merrily singing nearby.

Monroe 5Along the path, we spotted this tree off in the distance.  I wanted to get a closer look, but it was so far off the path and with the ground being so muddy, this is as close as I could get without getting stuck forever!  I wonder if an animal lives here.  It sure seemed like a cozy little place to snuggle up and take a nap.

Monroe 4These plants to the left, covered almost the entire forest floor.  Not sure of their name.  They were about 3 ft. tall, with tiny white flowers at the tips, and because of their height, it made it impossible to veer off the path too far.

Monroe 1Here’s a better view of the flowers that were perched at the top of each plant.  Like I said, I am not sure what these were, but they were a beautiful sight for sure!

Monroe 9   The trees didn’t quite have all of their leaves yet, so you could really get a good view of the entire forest and all of it’s hidden secrets that laid scattered about.  I enjoyed watching the butterflies fluttering by, and my girls were looking for curious things to collect.  I think the only thing we really collected though, was about 2 inches of mud on the bottoms of our shoes!

Monroe 11   This was the end of our journey through the woods and I decided to take a picture of the sun peering through the trees as we made our way back to the play area.  It is always hard to leave such a peaceful place behind and I felt a bit sad when we had to leave.  The good news is, that we can go back another day and have another adventure waiting for us once again!  I am already excited just thinking about it!