Schoolhouse, Study #2

Schoolhouse, Study #2 | Coulee City, WA | 2015

Two months ago, I posted a winter photo of this lonesome one-room schoolhouse, the Highland School. It oozes mystery, so I stop almost every time I drive by. On this particular day, a summer storm raced towards us — that is, me and the century-old structure. Clouds roiled, lightning flashed. My immediate response was to seek shelter in the car, but then spotted ravens gathering in the school’s roof beams. So, beating wind and rain by only a few seconds, I stepped carefully through the ramshackle doorway to join the huddle of birds, bees, bugs and rodents escaping the weather. We all hovered quietly in place — only a few caws, not much buzzing — while hard rain roared against the shingles. We listened. We waited. We marveled at the tempest’s power. An experience like this, one shared closely with five or six different species, doesn’t happen often. I was sorry when the storm — and the moment — blew past.