Summer is Still on Vacation

Aki loves snow above most things—not more than cheese but most other things. I brought her back to this chain of meadows for a chance to charge down a snowy trail before summer takes a firm hold on the mountains.

Summer must still be south on vacation judging by the snow load and the way sleet thickens the falling rain. Blueberry bushes, some still buried in white, are setting a creamy cloud of blossoms that promise a good berry harvest in August. The skunk cabbage, apparently losing patience with spring push up through the snow. 

I stop often to gauge the slowed transition to summer, how ice still overs ponds in the higher meadows and the lily pads in those now thawed remain tightly curled up beneath the water surface. No buds have set on the muskeg plants. Last year we found the magenta shooting stars and bog rosemary flowering here.

There are signs of summer. Mountain avalanche shoots have turned a deep green that stands out about the dead brown color of the meadow below them. Robins sing when not trying to distract Aki and I way from their nests.   Other birds, wrens and the sweet songed varied thrush fill the air with music. Even water bugs skate the surface of the meadow ponds. 

On the trail we find the mostly white feather of a ptarmigan. These grouse-like mountain birds change color with the season.  A beautiful chestnut brown decorates the tip of this one. The bird better be a quick change artist. He would really stand out on this dull brown carpet while wearing his white coat.

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