Getting off the shuttle bus this morning, someone mentioned that one of the mountains in the Arnorian Range was smoking. I looked over and sure enough, there definitely seemed to be smoke rising from one of the mountains to the left of Mt. Galadriel. I should mention at this point that at the University of Arnor, our ivory towers are located on a hill which overlooks the valley and gives us a nice view of the Arnor Range on a clear day.
While it’s true that there is no known volcanic activity in the Arnor Range, it is also true that about a decade ago scientists discovered a previously unknown geologic fault after a rather large (six point range) earthquake. So I thought it the better part of valor to call up the Arnor Volcanic Observatory and get the official explanation. Jeff, the deputy observer on call, did some science–by which I mean he looked out the window of his tower which being higher up on the hill has an even better of the mountains than we do on lower campus–and informed me that a) the smoke was actually a wisp of cloud, b) that happens sometimes, and c) no, the dwarves haven’t awakened the dragon and we weren’t about to get a flying visit from Smaug.
I e-mailed the rest of my colleagues at the library to let them know about the smoking mountain just in case patrons asked and most of them responded with (witty) disappointment that a new volcano hadn’t been discovered.