Named for the mega-volcano that graces this tiny world, Lilac Hill is as desolate as it is beautiful. The giant volcano has a long history of eruption and is still active to this day, with a near constant flow. At nearly 18 kilometers above the surface, it rises above the upper atmosphere and of course creates the weather for this moon. It also happens to be one of the largest mountains in the traveled universe.
Lilac Hill holds its place as one of six small worlds orbiting the gorgeous and colorful gas giant of Planar, in and of itself a planet worth mention. But here I want to chronicle this lovely little moon that I have physically walked across and spent some time getting to know.
From far across the plains, the massive volcano rises and rises… and rises. It is a rare day that one can see the hill in its entirety but it is not impossible, as clouds shroud its upper portion frequently as well as competing with the distortion from the lens of atmosphere. The height coupled with the upper layers of air make the mountain appear anywhere from a deep purple to a pale shade of lilac, especially at sunrise. It is truly a sight to behold, this singular tooth rising above the surface. It sits perfectly on the equator of Lilac Hill, as improbable as that seems. Perhaps this extra force from the moon’s spin helps account for its ability to continue its upward push. Speaking of rotation, which is really quite rapid, it revolves on its axis once every seven hours or so.
The dark soil here is quite compact and the plants are very hardy, with shallow root systems. Many of the shrub-like trees have incredibly wide trunks to support their branches of foliage for the roots just aren’t able to reach deep enough for adequate support. The scrubby grasses grow clumped together to create a safety in numbers, so to speak; their roots growing within the dead mass beneath, accentuating the clumpiness of each mound.
Each pole is covered a large yet relatively shallow freshwater sea within which, it seems, contains most of the life here. Whereas the land holds just a few species of smaller rodent-like mammalia and a handful of insect species, the seas contain hundreds of distinct life forms. There are a myriad of coral-like animals creating vast, stretching reefs. These creatures seem to be the hinge for everything else as they create the by-product oxygen as their waste. So the water is effervescent with minuscule oxygen bubbles and indeed I myself find it quite invigorating to swim in the shallow pools created by the reefs and found near the shore.
On the edges of the oxygen-rich waters of the reefs there are massive blooms of underwater flowering grasses. It looks as if one is viewing a botanist’s garden back home… but underwater. The variety of color and shape and size is astounding. Within these underwater gardens live shoals of shining and colorful fish ranging in size of a mere centimeter in length to monsters six meters long. There are also, living in the sands below, giant clams and other shellfish. Each one more spectacular than the last.
During the short nights, I can see the many underwater creatures that create their own light and indeed the reefs appear as if they are lit from below. Most commonly seen in shades of purples but here and there I also see dots of yellow or green. It’s intoxicating. I lay propped against my knapsack, staring out over the calm waters, with beautiful lights shining out and I find peace within my wandering soul. While there is desolation and hard compacted ground behind, where lies the continent and that massive purple mountain, to my face I see life bountiful and fresh clear beauty. I leave behind a piece of my heart by the seas of Lilac Hill.
Lifted high and far above
Lies that purple peak
Molten lava slowly spreading
Raising its massive stature
Reaching ever for the stars
And yet my eyes are drawn
Down below and to the north
Where lies the sea of life
Oxygen rich and aquamarine
I could spend my twilight years
Simply resting here
tara caribou |© 2018
This is part of my on-going series, Explorations. I hope you’ll stick around for more of the Traveler’s journal entries.