Spring appears at foot level in these high hills, welcoming the observant hiker. The starred chickweed at the lowest levels was the first to catch my eye; white and purple trillium, the delicate purples of wild geraniums, showy orchid, dwarf iris, trillium, I discovered the umbrella leaves of the may apple (not a tree though); the perfect white flower of bloodroot was at every section of the switchbacks; several leafy plants included the Virginia Pennywort, which is a rarity, and the Canadian waterleaf. One of our newest finds was bear corn (also called squaw root). After a winter of hibernation the bears are constipated, and they are eager to chew on bear corn, their spring laxative!
Spring has edged her way in, sprinkled with generous layers of snow and chilling the winds of change. Teased by an occasional unseasonably warm sun day, the earliest of azalea buds were among those caught by surprise. I daily reminded myself to keep watching; I wanted to see how nature unfolds in slow motion. I caught the neighbor’s aging maple gracing my window view with just the hint of red tipped buds; an incremental opening, delicate fan of new leaves – and now in a blink that tree is full, shutting out much of the mountain horizon. How I know that feeling – changes made in the blink of an eye. The rhododendron blooming bold and pink outside the guest room window draws the robins’ attention, and the robins’ draw the cats, Simone and Sinclair perched on the bedside table. They too keep eager watch. The lilac blooms and irises make a standing ovation. Another spring claims its space in my ever turning universe. The maple and I, we share another glorious season, a few more creaks in our limbs, as we bow to the welcomed applause.