Passions & Pursuits

Hiking in the Rain

I truly enjoy hiking in the Spring rain. It's hard not to feel refreshed and cleansed afterward. I think many photographers would agree that colors and textures appear so much more saturated when dampened. And birds will even sing in the shower! If April showers bring May flowers, then I guess January showers bring February flowers....and February showers bring March flowers? We sure have had an abundance of wet weather since the beginning of the year, and we have likewise been seeing an abundance of blooms. After the recent flooding, which swelled the streams and rivers overflowing to a point we hadn't seen in years, the waters ran muddy, churned with silt, leaf debris and mud from the bottoms and banks. A few days afterwards, however, I was amazed to see crystal clarity in the mountain streams and a gorgeous teal blue color of the deeper river and ponds. It was reminiscent of a rock quarry reservoir, almost like the waterways were cavernous vessels scrubbed clean and only the bare minerals were showing through. Interestingly, I was doing some repair work on a trail after this flood and quickly unearthed a couple small artifacts from earlier days: a little piece of a leather shoe's sole and a porcelain white fragment of a mason jar lid. The pounding push of water had done the excavating job. I perched them on a log beside the trail, hoping that it would pique the interest of passing hikers.

The variegated leaves of the yellow trillium have been out for a few weeks now, but the blooms have just opened in the last several days. It's worthwhile to get down on your knees and smell one of these beautiful blossoms, though the lemon scent can be present simply in the air if you are near a large drift off the plants. A Bird's Foot violet was spotted in the last couple days, as well as Large White Trillium and the shy Wild Ginger. Hooded Warblers have been heard, the Chipping Sparrows are in full song, and we're noticing the absence of the White-throated Sparrow's plaintive notes.

Each day brings new discoveries and visitors, and we welcome them with delight, though sometimes uncertain, recognition. I'm amazed at how a brief span of months can bury memories of what was so familiar, but in a way, it's nice to rediscover. It's like we're opening the box of Christmas decorations that we've had all year to forget about. Our favorites are pulled out with joy, each a treasure to be reunited with, until it's time for the next season to come.

Joy Hopkins, Adventure Manager

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