13 April, 2009

The Hidden Seasons

Waiting for Wonder


On the East side of the Rocky Mountains, in the shadow of the Front Range, seasons don't always pay attention to the predicated musings of the Old Farmer's Almanac. Old curmudgeon Winter can toss in a regular limb cracking, flower killing, major snow storm in late April, early May. Some years, like this one, mid winter can bring long dry spells where shirt sleeves and bright skies prevail over parkas and sweaters and bone chilling, bitter cold. February and March were dry, record breaking dry and warm. The foothills and close in montane held crusty, elderly snow banks in the dark canyons and sheltered remnants under spruce and fir boughs.

Now, with April half over, front range sentinel peaks, from the Long's Peak massif in the north to Mt. Evans in the south are buried under heavy and brilliant white spring snows.

This is one of the hidden seasons, tentative easily overlooked and overpowered.

Yesterday, great long grey mounds of mid and upper level clouds settled in over the foothills and prairie. Quiet, palpable anticipation hung in the air. It felt dense. At one point in the early afternoon, I walked outside to check on Nate dog. A fragrance, almost forgotten, rolled in the light breeze. I smelled rain!

Heady, earthy, rich and ready to fill the skies and quench the parched earth; that's the promise. It was as though Spring had cracked open her bower chest, shaken out her long skirts into the fresh wind.

Forsythia, plum, cherry, and all manner of ground flowers will color her wardrobe in the coming weeks...If Winter doesn't throw down a wild card storm!

The Harry Potter star, Emma Watson is a sometime reminder of early Spring.

The Merriam sub-specie of Wild Turkey, they too, remind me of the hidden season of early Spring. Hunters wander the riparian habitats along freshening creeks in the lower Ponderosa parklands, or set up decoys in the cottonwood and willow grasslands beside the High Plains rivers. They Merriam is strutting and breeding in late April and early May...depending on capricious weather.

They remain hidden unless called to a decoy by stealth and guile.

It is a wonder filled time of year, this time between when Winter still plays a hard hand and Spring dances tentatively towards her own full womanhood.


  1. Great pix Sven. I especially liked the very first one of the window. Quite artistic my friend.

    PS - those are indeed some "high waters" you're wearing in the side photo. LOL

  2. DW,

    Chest waders are not made to be a fashion statement... unless you adhere to the "Form Follows Function" school of fashion.