On this first day of spring, I can look around and see that, while the snow around my house can only be found in grimy-looking piles, the mountains are still blanketed. My favorite trails are still buried under several feet of snow. Still, the big thaw is happening, even if it isn't always readily apparent.
The first green shoots and, even better, the first flowers are just weeks or maybe days away. For me, watching the wilderness change is like a gardener and his or her prize tomatoes, or even an animal lover and a young pet. So many people look for a meadow or an aspen stand, but there is also incredible beauty in a fresh leaf or an intricate flower.
With many dirt roads and worn trails, the springtime melting leads to a 'mud season', which is not much fun. Even so, it is an essential part of the yearly cycle of life. Melting snow and ice in the mountains fills streams and rivers, and allows plant life to flourish, which in turn provides food for wildlife.
In some ways, spring is a very dramatic time of the year. In a matter of weeks, the natural world transitions from night (winter) to a new dawn (spring).
This spring will mark a new beginning for From The High Country, too. My new book, San Juan Inspirations will be released this summer, as will a new-look 2014 calendar. To learn more about the book, click here.