Seasons Change

The snow is wetter, heavier, thinner; in places, more ice than snow where the day's sun and warmth have melted it only to have the clear night's cold freeze it again. Dark, bare spots surround the tree trunks, exposing the first of the spring season's mud.


Then I remind myself: in another month, those south-facing hillsides that are nearly naked of snow now will be a riot of arrowleaf balsamroot - big, bright yellow flowers on tall, thick stalks of green, what I've always called wild sunflowers. As spring progresses into summer, they're joined by an abundance of daisies, bull thistle, mountain heath, geraniums, sego lilies, lupine (my absolute favorite wildflower), phlox, shooting stars, monkshood, columbine, larkspur, monkeyflower, Indian paintbrush, and others I can't identify. It is the most incredible abundance - of colors, smells, visual delights. I'm always inspired when surrounded by fields of wildflowers.

Anticipating the flowers helps me adjust to winter leaving. So, we venture out, the girls and I, working harder for every step in the soft snow, but content to reap the benefit of another beautiful day in the forest, time spent together.

Made even more poignent by my concern for Meadow's leg. She has steadily improved, our walks getting longer every day with no sign of limping or pain. I'm happy she's with us in the forest today, but I keep the pace mellow, and her on leash, so she can't run and chase Maia and possibly hurt herself again. We'll see the vet this afternoon, to make sure she's not suffering from a torn tendon or other serious injury. Just as with a human runner, with Meadow, it's best to be cautious short term so she recovers fully and quickly, so we can resume our usual level of running as soon as possible. Rest may be best, but it's awfully hard.