The surreal world of the Woody Creek Triangle
As many of you know, Lenado, which is where I live, is part of Woody Creek, although there are those who would argue that Woody Creek itself is nothing more than a figment of someone’s out-of-control imagination.But Woody Creek does exist and it does have established boundaries that were set down years ago by the Woody Creek Caucus, which is the closest thing we have to a governing body. In actuality, the caucus does not “govern” but it does meet regularly, looks at what is happening in Woody Creek and at what may be proposed for Woody Creek, and then it votes and passes on its recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners. So, while the caucus (which is open to any Woody Creek resident) may not have the final say about Woody Creek, over the years that collection of involved citizens has gained enough muscle to exert a great deal of influence with the county.At any rate, Lenado was included when the caucus boundaries were first determined, so our little community of less than 15 residents is part of Woody Creek, although it is eight miles away. As much as I love Woody Creek, I prefer to think of Lenado as being part of the “Woody Creek Triangle.” A place akin to the Bermuda Triangle. Strange things do occur in our triangle, so the comparison is not too much of a stretch.Granted, no ships have ever gone missing up here and there is only scant evidence that Lenado might have once been a part of Atlantis, but we have had our share of tragic airplane crashes and now and again a UFO sighting will pop up. Of course the UFO sightings are usually taken with a grain of salt as individuals who wander into our woods often ingest rather strange stuff.There was a human head discovered in the woods many years ago, one that remains unidentified, but thankfully stumbling onto dead humans in Lenado is not a common occurrence. However, there may be a few ghosts lurking around our community. I swear I ran into one while wandering around my woods late one night. I know I may have had one or two too many martinis after dinner, but the encounter did not just send something of a chill up my back. Both of my dogs at the time, vicious little curs that were not intimidated by anything, ended up cowering at my feet. It was obvious they also sensed something that was beyond the norm. There was a faint hint of an image in front of me and there was a definite drop in the temperature that accompanied the figure.Did I see a ghost? I really don’t know. I would like to say that I don’t believe in ghosts but I can’t say it with much conviction. After all, if ghosts do exist, I would prefer not to aggravate them by saying that I don’t believe in them. All I know for certain is that after my brief experience, I quit taking late-night walks in the woods across from my cabin. Why take a chance?Another rather unusual thing about Lenado, aside from some of its residents, is the fact that whenever a rainbow appears in our valley it always shows up in precisely the same spot. Granted, this is not Kansas but Lenado has enough sky available so that it would seem rainbows wouldn’t be limited to a single area, but that is precisely the way it appears. Maybe it is just a natural phenomenon, something an experienced meteorologist could explain with ease. But even if there is a rational explanation for our immobile rainbow, I believe it fits into the Woody Creek Triangle very nicely. I certainly saves time as there is no need to go out after a rainstorm and search the sky to see if a rainbow might be spotted – I know where to look!There is another phenomenon in Lenado that is rather pleasant to the eyes. It has to do with the fact that under certain conditions one can look to the east instead of the west to watch a sunset, or at least a reflection of that moment.Lenado sits in a very narrow valley and because of our geology, the sun disappears from view long before it actually sets, and when it does go down it is very much out of sight. However, if there is a scattering of clouds, quite often we can see a brilliant show of colors reflecting off those clouds. And if everything is in place, the best display often will be to the east of Lenado and not to the west, where you would expect it to be.I would guess that there are many places around the world where this same little show exists but I’m quite content to believe that it is all a unique part of the Woody Creek Triangle. After all, it gives me some comfort and a touch of pride to believe that where I live is “special.” That strikes me as being a fairly natural desire. And Lenado is special. While most of our valley is beginning to look like the suburbs of Los Angeles, we have a tiny handful of residents and are surrounded by hundreds of acres of land that cannot be developed. I would call that “special.”I suppose I also could mention some of the weird sounds that often come out of the Lenado woods but I’m afraid you would just laugh at me, which you are probably doing anyway. This is the 321st article in a two-part series devoted to the community of Woody Creek, a place where the sun sets wherever it damn well pleases.
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For 29 years, day and night during every season, shoulder-high electric infrared radiators directed heat downward to warm the top 6 inches of soil at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory. The experiment was called Warming Meadows.