Bright morning with clean, clear air; the smell of new growth is rejuvenating.
Light and promising, the still early sharpness of new Spring dances on the light breeze.
A cup of English Breakfast tea with bacon on toast sits with me on the high deck overlooking the meadow that soon blends into the forest.
I smile and greet the flowers dotting the meadow below me with their heavy, waving heads; their pale colors teasing at the intensity to come.
Green-yellow shoots of new grass force their way up through the gentle earth, stretching and coming alive under the light yellow sun.
The morning is already noisy; full of life; energetic.
The happy creek is splashing and rushing in full force; water from melted snow forcing its way down the mountain; tender reeds and cattails making a brave show of guarding the greening banks.
Birds have been up since dawn, delighting in the awakening bugs, fallen seeds and promises of good things to come.
It is time to hike; time to get out there and discover the hidden gems, which are just awakening and coming to life after a long winter of silent sleep.
The ground is still soft and springy, pliant under my slightly muddy boots.
Brisk walking, blood is pumping; alert for woodland creatures also enjoying the new birth and tender delicacies all around.
The shining lake seems happy; full to the brim with birds and creatures and bugs galore, busily gorging on Spring’s buffet; the light breeze ruffling the water; this lifts the soul.
Pleasant afternoon turns to cool evening; sun going down.
Sunset on the deck during the evening meal of pasta and salad with lemony iced tea; lovely.
Forest quieting; night falling.
Rising early to savor the cool of the morning; the sun is peeking over the tree tops.
Ginger Peach tea with granola, fresh fruit and yogurt accompany me to the deck.
It’s a lazy morning; creatures are up and stirring, but the pace is less frenetic.
The babble of the creek has taken on a more languid pace and I can just make out some footprints along its bank. Raccoon? Skunk?
Birds call and swoop; coaxing young ones to take flight; bugs and other delicacies brought to the wide, young mouths waiting inside downy nests.
Meadow flowers and grasses are tall now; twisting and dipping in the warming, lazy breeze.
The pace is certainly slower.
It’s time to layer up for the hike. Pleasant now, but the afternoon promises to be warm and close.
Canteens of water, beach towel, swim suit. To the lake!
Cool mountain water zings the skin and wakes up the senses after that first daring plunge!
Warm, drowsy, pine scented air creates the perfect backdrop for napping on the old beach towel.
Memories of camping and outdoor adventures flit though the mind as I gently doze.
Sleepy and comfy.
Watching and listening to scurrying, rustling sounds in the reeds by the lake; family of ducks skimming the lake for water bugs, tiny frogs and dangling berry bushes.
Duck family leaves behind ripples that spiral outward toward the shore.
Heading back to fire up the grill; lovely night to bar b que and drink chilled white wine as the sun goes down, leaving a fiery trail on the horizon.
Sun has set; here come the marshmallows, grahams and chocolate bars.
The evening is still and pleasant; perfect for S’mores and stories.
Forest quieting; night falling.
A chill in the morning air; sleepy sun pushes over the horizon; animals stirring.
Hot coffee with cream; warm oatmeal with brown sugar, golden butter and walnuts heads out to the deck with me.
The chair is cool to the touch.
Warm hoodie and long yoga pants are just right for this crisp morning.
Warm, but less intense sun light filters down through the beginning to be bare branches, leaving a warm impression. Lovely.
The air has that certain and distinctive Fall scent to it of browning leaves, dusty earth, crisp air that isn’t quite ready to mellow into deep winter. The comforting scent of pine.
The creek water pushes on, but with a slower gurgle; a gentle flow. Animal tracks at the edges; areas that are flattened down from what remains of a creature bed.
There are resilient, strong, stubborn grasses and flowers that are not yet ready to relax; that persist and bring color to a waning meadow and forest.
Time to hike.
Hiking in Autumn demands layers.
The warmer meadow where the sun still reaches and pours warmth onto backs and shoulders; then deeper into the woods with that unmistakable chill of the forest; fresh and chill it demands a bit faster pace to keep comfortable.
That lovely, primal scent of pine.
Boots kick up a bit of dust; that leftover pliant earth from Spring.
The lake is restful; last vestiges of birds calling and making their Southward plans.
A bit too chilly for a dip in the calm water.
A calm and peaceful place to sit among fallen leaves and turning grasses and read, until the Autumn sun begins its descent.
Chipmunks and fluffy grey squirrels are chattering; roaming the branches and fallen leaves for those precious seeds and nuts that will be hidden away.
Scurrying and intent on seeking and finding provision.
Winter is coming.
The lit grill gives off welcome warmth; as aromas of grilling vegetables and juicy steaks fill the air around the cozy cabin. Potatoes are baking in the oven.
Red wine with dinner on the deck; sunlight fading; S’mores make their last appearance of the season.
A warm fire might be nice tonight.
Forest quieting; night falling.
Blankets feel so warm in the cold morning; is it time to get up?
All is quiet outside the cabin. The watery sun seems to be struggling, too.
Rise and grab long, warm, heavy sweatpants and sweatshirt plus thick fuzzy socks.
First, hot coffee with cream; the mug sends warmth to already chilled hands.
Stoking up the fire again; warmth begins to infuse the chilly cabin.
Ah, Winter! You’ve arrived!
Second cup of steaming coffee accompanies me to the deck.
I have to smell the freezing, chill air; so brisk it takes the breath away.
There it is! That crisp and lovely scent of pine. Refreshing!
Nowhere to sit with the coffee, since the chairs are covered in ice.
Brave birds cover the bird feeder and relish the seeds I’ve put there for them; fluffed feathers making them look like plump, roly poly little things.
More coffee, eggs, sausage and toast go with me to the little table by the window, as I watch the winter morning unfold.
Fire crackling well now; should last for a bit.
Donning hat, gloves, scarf, heavy jacket, boots; out I go to brave the cold and see the meadow and forest that winter has created.
No one is really out and about this morning.
Evidence of creature activity is all around, but those brave souls must already be back in warm, earthy dens; watching me from hollowed out logs or nests in tree branches; wondering at the sight of me.
Trudging on for a bit; breathing in the wintry, piney air; chilled nose, ears and chin; time to turn back.
The idea of a warm blanket, hot water with lemon, comfy slipper socks by the fire with my book is too strong of a call.
Shedding layers and climbing under the blanket, I relax and am swept away by the book.
Clouds have rolled in while I read. Brisk wind crept up and is rattling bare branches. Colder.
Dinner tonight will be hot bubbling soup and warm bread that I took a break from reading to prepare.
Back under the blanket, watching the fire, I hear the shushing sound of ticking snow on the deck.
Tomorrow morning will be white.
The forest is quiet; night has fallen on the cabin.