Diann at Little Penguin Quilts recently remarked on how she likes hiking in the mountains. Well, that got me thinking about how much I like mountains.
I've never been much of a seashore kinda gal. Probably has something to do with the fact that the very first time I stepped into the Atlantic Ocean at the tender age of 5, it grabbed me and pulled me under.
I do enjoy the occasional trip to the shore, the walks on the beach, the search for shells, margaritas under an umbrella ... But I'm not drawn to the sea like some folks are. Put me on a mountain top -- heck, I big hill will do -- and I'm content. The higher I go, the closer I feel to Heaven. Maybe that's why I've enjoyed our hillside retreat the last 9 years!
I like mountain vistas. I know I can see a long way at the beach, but it's mostly just the horizon. Whereas from a mountain top I can see valleys and distant mountains.
Makes me think of those song lyrics: On a clear day you can see forever!
And the changing moods of the mountains. If you don't like it, just wait a day, or a half day, or a few hours ...
I like geology. My mother instilled in me a love of geology, and where better to observe the action of the earth's surface rising and being sculpted than in the mountains?
Just think -- at one time these layers were horizontal. And they represent thousands, probably millions, of years where sand and silt were deposited and compressed into rock, capturing forever bits of flora and fauna in the process. Imagine the forces it took to lift these layers into a vertical position and the years it took to expose them. Well maybe a front loader was involved, but you get the idea.
Speaking of flora and fauna ...
I like mountain flowers. I love to observe the changes in flora as the elevation increases. My mother used to talk about getting above the tree line. While it's unlikely to get above the tree line east of the Mississippi River, there are distinct changes in what flourishes at higher elevations.
|Mountain laurel and flame azalea|
|Pale pink mountain laurel|
Waxy white rhododendron