Illusions Dispelled

Several years ago I was one of a small party camped in the mountains in the winter time. One morning we found everything enveloped in thick, whirling fog. Objects but a few yards distant were hid from view by it, while those just within the range of vision appeared in strange, changing shapes. Expecting the fog to lift soon, we started on a short trip. It was interesting to watch the changing of the grotesque shapes that the objects we passed seemed to assume when they were within the range of vision. A fierce looking shadowy shape would change to a snow crowned stump, a rock, or a bunch of brush as we approached it, and a towering, gesturing giant would prove to be a tree or a snag.

After we had walked for some time we came into bright sunshine. We reached the top of a hill that was above the fog, where we found ourselves under a cloudless sky, the sun shining brightly. While in the fog, the only object visible was the top of a hill about a mile distant on which there were a number of pine trees. It looked like an isle in a tropical sea with its grove of palm trees, while all around, the fog was rolling and tumbling in a way which would have been terrifying if we had not known it had no power to harm.

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