I may be biased, but I don't think that there is a bad time to be in the Rockies. It's easy to look at a photo and be impatient for summer, but each season has its own charm. After a long winter, the first signs of new life are an uplifting sight. Whether it's the young leaves of aspens (that will offer a spectacular display of color in a few short months), or seedlings in bare earth, there is much to see if you're prepared to look closely. The Rockies never cease to fascinate, and as I watch the constant change I can't help but feel a part of it. Of all the seasons in the Rocky Mountains, spring is the least predictable. Early morning snow can quickly melt to reveal green grass as the skies clear on a warm and sunny afternoon. This transition from extreme cold and deep snow to a fresh forest canopy and lush wildflower meadows is an essential part of both flora and fauna life cycles. Every drop of precipitation that falls before another arid summer fuels plant growth, which in turn feeds our wildlife. Some animals are easier to view during the harsh mountain winters, but others have spent the last few months in a state of hibernation, and are once again roaming the forests. Other inhabitants, such as the squirrels, are as lively as ever.
When a whole season of snow melts, dirt road and trails can turn to thick mud. This is the one time of year that I spend time away from wilderness. Hiking and driving can be frustrating at this time, and trail erosion can be greatly accelerated. Since my style of photography requires a certain level of physical fitness, this is no excuse to be lazy. As a result, I dedicate a few weeks of self-imposed exile each spring to working on new products and working out! This year, I made especially good use of my time and produced my second photography book in addition to several other new items. As the slopes dry out, I find myself in excellent shape and eager to return to the far off areas of secluded wilderness that I first reached last autumn. I ride my mountain bike on dry dirt roads and survey the peaks above me. Soon they will be accessible to me once more, and I'll be back on the same ground as the deer, moose and bear again.