But now, all the flowers are blooming at once. In the meadow, the fields are carpeted with color: golden gaillardia, purple harebells, creamy angelica and wild parsley, lavender asters, white bistort, bushes of the yellow potentilla, wild pink roses, dark purple thistle and crimson penstemon—at least 50 different flowers.
So now my problem is being overwhelmed, wanting to sit down in the field and let the colors and smells wash over me. Either that or to become jaded, stop seeing it because it’s become so common. I think of the columbine growing in such profusion two weeks ago, and now it’s hard now to find even one; in my yard, there’s no evidence that it even existed.
And the grasses are coming into their own now, too. Whole hillside of one of my favorites: the needle and thread grass ( left), with silvery narrow threads that catch the sunlight and light up the whole hillside. In the meadows are the deeper greener grasses.
To see wildlife, all I need to do is sit at my cabin, and they parade by the deck. Two deer, young with shiny new tawny coats, quivering, listen for any sound (in this valley the deer are easily outnumbered by the coyote) before something scares them, and they bound off; a young rabbit, about half the size of a
grown one and too young to be wary of humans, sunbathes
on the rock in front of the deck; and a young ground squirrel snacks on grass
by the cement pavement by the water pump.
I spot something else in the grass, too long to be a ground squirrel or chipmunk, although the same golden fur, but with a long tail with a dark band toward the end: a short-tailed weasel (ermine), which I have never seen here before; it slithers low through the grass, checking chipmunk and ground squirrel holes in the ground and is out of sight before I know it.
There’s evidence of other animals. A drainpipe stashed alongside the cabin has been pulled out and somehow mutilated: flattened on one side and seemingly chewed or clawed on the other. My only conclusion is a bear trying to reach a small animal that took shelter inside.
The next day it rained, both the animals and me taking shelter while the world turned a monochrome gray. It felt good.