A few weeks back, I thought of national parks as static.

I thought of the world around them as developing at an ever increasing pace while they stayed the same.Yet this couldn’t be further from the truth. National parks, specifically Rocky Mountain National Park, is the quintessence of dynamism. This past weekend I experienced a mere glimpse of that:

I witnessed snow gradually thawing, and giving renewed life to surging streams.

I witnessed clouds, like clockwork, sinking and wetting the warm afternoon air.

Afternoon clouds above Lily Lake.

I studied a round, fuzzy black bear cub scampering up a tree.

Two bull elk rearing up in a clash of masculinity.

Chunky, bristly marmots scurrying from rock to rock.

There are signs of sand eroding away and leaving trees perched precariously on their roots.

And, at a greater time scale, I have seen signs of limber pines perishing as they encountered mountain pine beetle after mountain pine beetle.

The Rocky Mountains.

There is motion everywhere around me. Perhaps the only difference is that the agent behind this motion is not always human. Though humans are powerful and have irreversibly altered the world we live in, we are not the only ones who are powerful, nor are we the only one who alter the world we live in. With or without humans, the geology and biology of Rocky is in a constant state of change, yet it is up to us how we use our power to influence (or not influence) that change.

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