When I walk outside to greet the pasqueflowers in the morning, which take their time in opening to the sun, I walk as tenderly, as carefully as possible on the ground. The small, purple flowers, which fill with sunlight, are scattered across the yard, and I don’t want to accidentally step on one. There’s also new shoots of grass and small spring beauties, etched in pink, and I’m mindful of my big, clumsy feet.
Despite the snow still covering the mountains, it’s a new beginning. Frogs are emerging from winter’s frozen ponds, the first of the hummingbirds are busy chasing each other, a magpie feeds her squawking young, hidden in the depths of a spruce tree, and the bluebirds (left) are flying in the meadow. My neighbor reported the first bear of the season after she left the hummingbird feeder out one night and found it destroyed the next morning.
Even the humans are emerging from hibernation. At Peaceful Valley this week, despite snow still piled on shady parts of the road, a fisherman was casting his pole into the St. Vrain River. At the campground, the summer’s hosts have just arrived to get things in order before the first campers start arriving in a week or so.
I had come to this valley bottom looking for spring, but there’s more snow here than at my cabin. In the woods, on the north-facing slope, there’s still enough snow to ski on. Yet the St. Vrain is running high and clear, filling in every slight indentation in the earth. Walking on the road to the campground, I heard one frog singing from a small pond. Despite not getting any answers, it gamely kept going, and I wished I could sing back to it, but I don’t have the treble range.
I’m looking for spring’s sweetness and warmth, but it’s not here yet. Instead, I get a day with clean, cool air, a high blue sky and water running everywhere. There’s a joy in that.