By James Bosch
The following is an excerpt from Chapter Five of the novel Hydropsyche.
Time up north included an introduction to “real winter.” Lake effect snowfalls were so significant that tunnels were dug between buildings on the campus. Snow fall was measured in feet. Temperatures frequently fell below zero. Wind moved over stretches of open space and water like serpents across the desert. Ice sheets on Lake Superior crackled during the night; they moved as plates of earth, each on a fluid medium, until they rammed into one another and buckled to form rivers of hogback spines.
Ian was entranced with the landscape outside the campus. He found himself on the rocky shores or in the woods, and noted which species of wildlife made tracks in the snow or tunneled underneath the thorny brambles. He made sketches in his journal of how nature changed with the varying temperatures and premature warming periods. Tufts of fur, galls and seed-filled scat were collected or dissected. This was the work of a serious biology student who went far beyond requirements of the courses.
His professor commented one day, “You’re like a young Charles Darwin.”