So Long, Spring, ‘Till Next Time

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.

forest wildflowers
dog rolling on grass
Finn easily makes the transition from rolling on snow in the yard to rolling on mowed grass, May 17, 2020.

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
wildflowers, trail, dog
June 10, 2020, Jacob’s Ladder wildflowers alongside the trail.

Every spring is the only spring, a perpetual astonishment.

Ellis Peters

Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s Party!”

Robin Williams
forest, wildflowers
Sunflowers, Indian paintbrush and lupine partying on a forest hillside, June 11, 2020

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
trillium
Hopeful trillium alongside a tree-shadowed forest trail, June 5, 2020.

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
trees, dogs, elk
Spring’s work provides abundant plant growth that sustain wildlife. See the elk in the distance, cautiously watching us? June 9, 2020.

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.

trees, snow, dogs
Is it spring, or winter? June 8, 2020.

No matter how chaotic it is, wildflowers will still spring up in the middle of nowhere.

Sheryl Crow
wildflowers in snow
Heartleaf arnica shivering through a late-spring snow, June 8, 2020.

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.

wildflowers, trees
Glacier lilies and Springbeauties – two early harbingers of spring – covering a meadow at 7,000 feet in mid-June, 2018, appearing there long after they’ve bloomed and disappeared below 5,000 feet.

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
cones on ground, dogs, trees
Cones knocked to the ground by a spring storm the night before, continuing the cycle of life. June 6, 2020.

Feature image: a forest hillside, covered in wildflowers, with distant peaks covered in snow. May 27, 2020.

18 thoughts on “So Long, Spring, ‘Till Next Time”

  1. Ah – this makes me miss the Idaho that I love. Have hiked through many areas of lovely Idaho years ago when I lived there. Thank you for this wonderful post. I loved every word and every picture. Reading and looking at this post soothed my soul. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Spring is such a wonderful time
    with the tulips, poppies. But summer…
    Ahh summer my favorite.
    Throw open the windows.
    Step outside…
    and breathe.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The Abbey quote brought tears to my eyes. There was actually a moment when I was working for the park. I was also riding a mountain bike because I wasn’t yet allowed to walk on the knee that had been badly injured in a serious moment of total stupidity. I was having so much fun, but I was supposed to stop and go to a meeting where we would discuss upholstery for the furniture in the visitor’s center. I Just didn’t go. The next day I resigned. I loved my work for the park, but at a certain point it seemed to have momentum and didn’t need me any more and I needed to ride the trails. Life is really short. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

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