How gratifying it is to start each day with a gaze upon the Bitterroot Mountains glaring in the early morning sun. The snowcaps glow in hues of orange and gold. The tree lines appear navy and black in the faint light of dawn. The foothills are transitioning from tawny to emerald. Nearly every color is represented in the variegation before me.
The early signs of spring are subtly becoming evident. Rivers and streams swell with dark and muddied water. Buds grow in prominence on bushes, shrubs, and trees. Sprigs of vegetation are becoming more visible as they pop through the once-frozen earthen crust. Banks of deep white snow become non-existent from prolonged exposure to the warming rays of sunlight.
Spring still succumbs to days dominated by its predecessor, winter. Snow and freezing conditions are not uncommon. Yet, it also yields to the hot and arid days reminiscent of summer. Most spring days, however, fall somewhere in the middle of the weather spectrum. Sporadically, a gathering of clouds will provide a shower of rainfall. The accumulation of precious precipitation will be critical to the organisms that depend on it in the months to follow.
A meadowlark chirping from a distance eagerly awaits a reply. It has been months since I’ve heard their beautiful and melodic canticle. Other avian species are seen flitting through the still-cool air with, seemingly, the greatest of ease. They, too, have pitched in with their vocalizations to break the reticence of the morning. All of the sounds are tantalizing to my auditory sense.
The marrow of the Rocky Mountains is in its infantile stage of rejuvenation-an annual process. Longer and warmer days bring much needed respite to the flora and fauna fortunate enough to have survived the brutality of the long and cold months of winter. The harsh conditions of winter have culled the aged and decrepit. Only those strong enough and fit enough are allowed to carry on their lineage.
Spring provides the necessary conditions for a multitude of new generations. New lives begin their existence. Others evanesce. Such is the cycle of life, as we know it. For most, though, the season brings rebirth-a fresh start.