Melting

Return to the Tronsen Meadow area today. Snow has melted from the road where we skied and snowshoed all winter. The sound of running water fills the air. We are putting up signs to mark the trail junctions. Above 4000 feet in elevation snow lingers, covering the road and slopes with one or two feet. Looking to the west, mist and squalls blow across the mountains. The wind is chilly and strong, but the sunlight is bright and warm.

After standing on tiptoe to hammer and ratchet a trail sign to a tree with lag screws, I pause to look around at the patchy nature of the woods right now. Sunlight comes unevenly through the tree canopy, creating a pattern of dappled light and shade on the forest floor. Snow has retreated, leaving wet muddy places. The ground is visible after months under the smooth even surface of snow. Sticks and twigs and needles and dried grasses and lichens all weave a complex organic tapestry. There is much more to notice. The green shoot of a glacier lily. The trailing creepers of twinflower under an exposed log. My nose is still stuffy, but sometimes the pitchy scent of evergreen tree penetrates and hits my brain with a jolt. Wow! Tree smells!

Senses are awake. Water is running in the Cascades. Soon there will be nothing but dirt to walk on as the woods open for another summer.

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One thought on “Melting

  1. … in all high country, it is the same. I remember it well. I don’t live at high elevations now, having returned to the elevations surrounding my birth and childhood; when first in the Rockies, I had dizzy spells. I’d JUST gotten my vision adjusted to distance and spotting the Golden Eagle on the wing, or the Pronghorn at far distances, when I returned to Maine. I didn’t stop ducking for weeks… everything seemed so LOW and the roads were tunnels beneath the trees… it was funny. It was also a delight. It was ALL a delight, both the high and the low. ALL of nature is so. Thanks, Deb.

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