At Wild Basin this week, I was drawn to what was hidden, to life that is still small and fragile. At 8,500 feet elevation, spring progresses slowly. Aside from the golden banner (above) that glows bright yellow among the green grasses and granite rocks, and the purple clematis that clings to the dark, steep hillside, everything else is just starting out. Bushes and flowers that will spread over the boulders and trail in a few months are now only a few inches high.
Especially prominent are the young spruces (left), pushing their way up through any clearing in the dense parts of the forest. Their new tips are lime green, tender enough to munch on, especially if you’re a deer. While many of the older spruces are suffering from the heat and dry weather, these young ones don’t know yet their limitations and surge toward the sunlight.
We had little snow this winter at the cabin, and now temperatures are soaring into the 80s at a time when the normal high would be in the 60s. At the Wild Basin ranger station, a sign warned that the fire danger was already high. Many mountain dwellers are worried about this summer, but for now I just want to enjoy the freshness and delicacy of spring, as long as it lasts.