Spring officially ends June 19th this year. It’s always a little sad saying goodbye, watching nature’s exuberant bursts of growth and color wane during the hotter and drier months of summer.
Where I live, at 4,000 feet in the mountains of central Idaho, spring starts arriving in April and doesn’t really gain steam until May when the snow finally melts off and the meadows and forest undergrowth become bright with new green growth, wildflowers blooming everywhere. The peak time for wildflowers at this elevation is late May, early June, just in time to welcome the summer solstice on June 20th.
To usher spring on its way, thankful for all the beauty it has given me this year – a year with novel challenges when we could all use some calming distractions from the extra stresses of daily life – I offer some quotes and photos, hoping they bring a small measure of joy as we head into summer.
Spring: a lovely reminder of how beautiful change can truly be.Anonymous
Spring unlocks the flowers to paint the laughing soil.Bishop Reginald Heber
Every spring is the only spring, a perpetual astonishment.Ellis Peters
Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s Party!”Robin Williams
Now every field is clothed with grass, and every tree with leaves; now the woods put forth their blossoms, and the year assumes its gay attire.Virgil
Spring drew on…and a greenness grew over those brown beds, which, freshening daily, suggested the thought that Hope traversed them at night, and left each morning brighter traces of her steps.Charlotte Brontë
I will be the gladdest thing under the sun! I will touch a hundred flowers and not pick one.Edna St. Vincent Millay
There is poetry among the wildflowers.Rachel Irene Stevenson
Spring work is going on with joyful enthusiasm.John Muir
Spring is fickle in the mountains. It often snows in June, as it did this year, providing the unique (if brief – the snow melts off quickly) contrast of fresh white snow alongside bright, new green growth on the forest floor.
No matter how chaotic it is, wildflowers will still spring up in the middle of nowhere.Sheryl Crow
One of the many things I love about living in Idaho’s Salmon River Mountains is that the vast forested landscape provides an almost endless spring. After most of the wildflowers at lower elevations finish their blooms, those a thousand feet higher are just getting started. With easy access to trails at elevations between 4,000-8,400 feet, I can keep chasing the snow melt – and arrival of spring flowers – through July.
I’ll end with a quote offering advice from someone who, though complicated and known as a rabble-rouser, loved the environment deeply, advocating for its preservation and protection.
Do not burn yourself out. Be as I am—a reluctant enthusiast…a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it is still there.
Run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, that lovely, mysterious and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much: I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those deskbound people with their hearts in a safe deposit box and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this: You will outlive the bastards.Edward Abbey
Feature image: a forest hillside, covered in wildflowers, with distant peaks covered in snow. May 27, 2020.