This week, I arrived to fog and cloudy skies, a high of 47, and aspens that were just starting to leaf out. I put away my expectations and enjoyed a day that felt more like early May than early June. In my yard, the pasqueflowers had dropped their petals, leaving behind long silky tendrils (bottom).
As I set out for my afternoon hike, I wore my sweatshirt and wool cap; if I had gloves (optimistically, perhaps foolishly, I had taken them out of the car), I would have worn them. As I went higher, I could see breaks in the clouds, just glimpses of Mount Meeker and the surrounding mountains,. By the time I got the top of the road, the sky had totally opened, and Meeker and the corner of Longs Peak were exposed in all their powerfulness.
At the same time, tendrils of clouds softenened their gray granite flanks (above), as the sun’s rays hit their cold and moist surfaces, creating banks of clouds that dreamily floated in and around the summits of these two massive mountains. I sat on a boulder mesmerized, watching the clouds form and disappear as fast as I could take a picture. In front of me the meadow grass was nearly a half foot tall, aspens were that lime green when the leaves first appear (almost as brilliant as the autumn's gold right before they disappear), and the sky was a soft, almost angelic blue. It all spoke of spring, the world born anew.
I couldn’t move, even though I wanted to see what was beyond on this Forest Service road I had just discovered. So I sat there, peeling off layers of clothing, letting myself settle softly into this almost-summer day.