Signs of Spring


Springtime in the Rockies isn’t signaled by many of the signs familiar in other parts of the country. Flowers are not yet blooming, and while it is getting a bit warmer, it is still cold at night and there can be a cool breeze blowing even on warmer days. Yet, there are signs of spring beginning to fight its way to life here in the mountains.

I see those signs in the animals; more of them are out and they are becoming more active. Earlier this week, a fox ran in front of me on the road to my office, and on Friday night, a coyote ran in front of me across the road leading up to my house. It was heading for some hiding place among the scrub oak trees on the side of the hill behind by house. I understand there was a bobcat in the neighborhood one afternoon late last week. A better sign is the condition the deer in the neighborhood. They are losing their winter coats and most of them are looking like scraggly refugees from some horrible prison camp. Appearances can be deceiving, though. I think most of them look actually look fairly healthy – I’ve seen no stragglers struggling to hang on to life, and there are none that seem injured in any way. We may have a good crop of fawns this spring, both a curse and a blessing, but the first appearance of those fawns will be the final sign that confirms spring has finally arrived, probably in late May or early June.

In the mean time, there will be nothing but conflicting signs of spring struggling to overtake another winter. Looking out to Pikes Peak this morning, I see a storm brewing on the ridge line and it looks like it’s snowing in the high elevations. I think we may see some of that snow later on today, although the forecast is calling for it to be warm and windy here. I’d rather have a good heavy snow.

In any case, although it seems hard to believe, it’s time to begin to think of Lent winding down and the arrival of Easter morning. It’s a good time to re-focus on the meaning of this time of penance and re-energize the preparations for Holy Week and Easter, but I’m still keeping an eye on the deer.

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This page contains a single entry by Ron Moffat published on March 26, 2006 11:27 AM.

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