Even the Devil’s Club Thinks It’s Spring

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A rock fall draws our attention. The little dog sniffs and stares. I follow her gaze and spot two mountain goats just above us on the flank of Mt. Juneau. I’d seen at least six other goats on this hike along Gold Creek. All were too far above us to be more than moving white dots. These two are close enough to watch, to appreciate a little of their personalities. The one following moved slowly, carefully lifting it’s front legs over deadfalls and rocks. It was hard to imagine this goat gracefully transiting a rock face like I’d seen them do often.

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Along the creek, it looks like early summer. Tiny yellow violets are flowering. Elderberry plants, willows, and balsam poplars show fresh green growth. The later smell like the balsam incense for which they are named. Even the conservative devil club plants are leafing out. Yet the goats climb away from all this lush new growth.

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