Another installment in my collection of lunch spot photos..
When the legs are carrying the body uphill, pulling snowshoes up out of soft snow, the focus is on muscles, heart, lungs. There’s a wordless rhythm until the belly hollers “I NEED TO EAT RIGHT NOW!” Then the focus is on those pangs.
It would be easy to flop down in the snow just anywhere and devour everything in the lunch bag. But discerning outdoor people look for just the right spot, like a dog circling before lying down. I like the top of the hill for the view, and Jon insists on being out in the open for when the sun comes out. I look at the clouds and declare that we’re out of luck. Not gonna happen.
He gloats when I am proved wrong. We bask in the sun, admiring the old ponderosa pines in front of us. My eye is drawn to the shocking chartreuse wolf moss on some of the lower limbs. It glows in the bright light. It’s actually a lichen, Letharia vulpina, and is commonly found on dry site Douglas-fir and pines. Native people used it for a yellowish-green dye, and I know from experience that it dyes wool very effectively. We find fragments of it on the snow when snowshoeing.
There was real warmth in the sun today, and long blue shadows among the conifers. We’re seeing more insects.
This morning I heard and saw swallows flying over the Forest Service warehouse for the first time this year. They are back.