Anticipation

feboly 037
I would like to be able to say that March is when I really start to yearn for spring, but that would be a lie. I start thinking about spring as soon as the first snow flies. This winter, that was in fall. When the first snow came, Oly was just a month old. So for him, it has always been winter: cold, windy and barren.

Winter has its beauty; there are not many views more spectacular than a snow-capped mountain in the distance. Ecologically, winter is the most important season. For wildlife, it is hard; every step needs to be calculated and there always needs to be an escape route. For trees, extended cold helps keep different infestations at bay. It is a time when the earth gets to rest and store some resources. Summers are made by winters.

The cold feels clean. In many ways, nature is at its best when it is well below freezing. When it is really cold, tree sap begins to freeze and as it does, it begins to pop and crackle. I love that sound; it reminds me of when I lived at Snow Lodge in Yellowstone. Skiing through a frozen world like that is spiritual; the crunching of the snow as you ski along, the sound of your breath and that popping of the trees is all you hear.

We have that same beauty as we ski from our house here at the Cirql H. During those moments, when we get to ski, Megan and I love living up here on our mountain; I’m sure Oly will too. But, during everyday life, when we fight the snow and cold just to survive, we think of spring.

It is in early March, when I really start to feel it. But soon, the bluebirds will come back; their blue, along with the yellow of both the glacial lilies and the buttercups, will bring some color back into this frozen world. Ahh, then the arrowleaf balsamroot.

I believe it was Matt Higgins (or Jeremiah Johnson) and Hatchet Jack that said,
hj- You wouldn’t happen to know what month it is would Ya?
jj-March. Maybe, April.
hj-March maybe. l don’t believe April.
jj-Winter’s a long time going?
hj-Stays long this high. March is a green, muddy month down below. Some folks like it; Farmers mostly.

So, as the muddy season hits us, we will anticipate floating the Yellowstone and teaching Oly about the water. But for now, we wait, because you just can’t cheat the mountain, pilgrim.

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7 thoughts on “Anticipation

  1. This is when I am in awe of my Montana family–I whimper if i get too many days of rain!!!And you hunker down in the snow–at least you have more sun. I wish that I did not worry about you in the snow-but I do—-so there.

  2. It’s 60 degrees and the neighborhood boys are building a fort in the yard here in Portland. Just sayin’.

    Love your posts keep them coming!!

  3. George, you captured winter so beautifully in this post and exactly how I remember it! To this day I still have Jeremiah Johnson quotes via Matt Higgins in my head! If you and Megan want to introduce Oly to the Redwoods some day let me know, I live in the heart of them! Nice to hear your voice in this blog. šŸ™‚

  4. Driving to an appointment today on the Gene Snyder, just from the Home Garden Show, looking over to my right I noticed the Great Jefferson Forest. Clouds were low today spitting a snow, rain mix that sends a chill to your bones that’s hard to shake for Louisville boy. The reason the hills caught my eye is it reminded me of low clouds in Yellowstone in October against the Sheepheads. I smiled.

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