a/n: this is an essay I wrote for English last year; the goal was to be descriptive. I've set it up as an example for people who aren't that great at describing so they can get a feel for it. I don't know how much y'all will like this, but it got a 92% (only because my grammar wasn't amazing, four mistakes and I lose 8% go figure). ...not looking for reviews here, so don't expect any returned if you choose to.

9/24/09 Quetico

Silence fights for its supremacy above and below the cobalt surface of the water. It lingers for moments at a time. The lack of noise always so close to permanence that whenever it breaks even by the slightest sounds it is broken as if by a fired gun. Every breath of the canoeist, every stroke of his oar is muffled into a mute whisper by the oppressing silence. Just beyond the U.S. boarder in Ontario, the Quetico Provincial Park dozes in a perpetual state of semi-consciousness.

For the past century, canoeists have traveled the park calling it the Boundary Waters due to its proximity to the Canadian-American boarder. Looping around in a massive near two-hundred mile circuit, the lakes and rivers connect to separate all land within the loop form the outside world.

On the fringes of this loop, a Boy Scout awakens and crawls from his tent. He heaves himself across the hard bedrock that is ever-present in Quetico and gazes numbly out across Argo Lake. Looking down from a cliff edge the cyan water lying flat on the lake is a window to the sub-surface world of the fish. Fog spreads about the lake as a thick coat to insulate it from the sky and soon-coming sun. As the light-bringer creeps above the horizon, the white mist changes to silver for an instant before dispersing to on the breath of the wind. The cyan waters transform to amethyst, the amethyst translates lavender, and the lavender becomes amaranth. An ivory disc hangs in the pink sky shrouded by haze. The Boy Scout in awe sees a beaver slowly treading across the lake sending mauve ripples in every direction. He runs to get his camera, but he trips on an ancient root of a primordial pine and the moment ends.

In the heart of Quetico dwell the marshes that beavers in their tender care for architecture personally maintain with their dams. The beaver will swim from the quagmiry heart of the park for miles to select the tree that will serve as the focal point of the next dam. Starting his trip from the warmth and safety of his lodge, he will dive through a hole in the floor of his lodge and enter the murky water that surrounds his home. Reeds rise out of this shallow water around him like matting and give the area a yellow hue bleached to a cadaverous white in the early morning miasmatic mist. The beaver ploughs through the thick muddy alluvium and comes to one of its many dams. The lovingly laid logs and meticulously matted mud have been destroyed. The metallic tang of aluminum informs the beaver another canoeist tried to drive straight over the dam. The beaver lets out a series of hisses and then slaps its tail upon the water to summon its family for a day of repair.

Later that day, in a bog located several miles north of the marsh a group of Girl Scouts enter into a bog. The tiniest of the scouts hefts the sixty-pound pack of food on her shoulders and trudges with her back parallel to the oozing surface. Mosquitoes swarm through the air through the air and suck their fill on her sweat-softened skin. Every bite feels like a novice acupuncturist's attempt at relieving stress and then failing miserably. The water though deep enough is innavigable by canoe. Dead trees barren of bark and life burst from the bottom of the fen to fashion a labyrinth. Atramentous slush covers the surface of the water and reeks of decay. Thousands of roots crisscross the bottom of the bog and each one seems to squirm like serpents writhing in death. Each slick with its own slime gives way and threatens to rob the scouts of their balance.

Some miles east of the swampland a group of adventurous honeymooners has found a waterfall. The cascades make a horrible loud noise that echoes about the nearby land and then cuts suddenly off as it is dispelled by the silence of the lakes. Trees dot either side of the steep hill surrounding the falls. Between the trees, the land stripped of life is a dull brown that dead pine needles smother to a saffron. At the base of the falls, a basin of rock smoothed by years of water rushing through it lies invitingly. The honeymooners swim there for a while and allow the pounding waters to massage their troubles away with a force that would later leave bruises.

As night sets on Quetico, the nightly wailings of the loon stops the silence and summons a soothing symphony for the sleepers and stargazers. Daring Canada Scouts begin their voyage now. They board their canoes and push off into the inky darkness. The water no matter where they go shines with a million lights. Flowing, the water pulls them onward and its strange consistency awes them. Their paddles cut through the water and bring teardrops into the air that sparkle as sapphires and emeralds briefly before rejoining the greater opalescent jewel. Halfway through the night a yellow haze sinks into the water and hunts across the lakebeds banishing the glistening jewel wherever it travels leaving behind only an inky trail. When the yellow cloud rises from the water, it summons newborn vapor to bind the water to cyan until the sun may claim the water again.

North of the U.S. border, the Quetico Provincial Park is a quiet world of its own. The marshes fowl as they are cleanse the waters that in turn reflect the sky. The taste of slow decay hangs in the air and promises new life. On the water, all sounds fades and it seems as though the world about it disappears leaving Quetico an endless stretch of water slumbering eternally in repose.