May 20, 2017


My expectations were not high. I have too often wakened to screaming winds and blowing snow on the day that spring is scheduled to arrive. Seldom does it prove to live up to its name. But this day did. It actually warmed to nearly 70 degrees and beckoned me outdoors into the garden, and eventually to Riverview Park Trail.

It was warm enough for me to peel off my jacket and I set out along the trail with my ears tuned to the sounds of the meadow. The sun filtered through a haze of gauzy clouds, and the blue of the sky was obscured. The atmosphere was filtered and dilute, and the scene a watered down watercolor landscape. Nevada is still colored beige--last summers old stalks and grasses lying lifeless and spent, anemic and bled of color,. and dry.

In the distance the big cottonwoods show their filigree silhouettes--the delicate lacework of twigs and branches etching their designs onto the skyline. Looking closely, though, I see the swelling of their buds. Those, and the tiny green sprouts of new grass along the path are the only visible signs of spring.

My ears detect the crescendo of a finch, and the singular sound of a meadowlark. Along the willow hedge were noises of the blackbirds. With no spring run-off as yet, and no water in the ponds, it will be a while before the marsh awakens to life.

Snow still lies on the high peaks and it will be several weeks before it begins to melt and fill our ponds. Water is the life-blood of this place, and I long for its return.

The calendar may say that it is spring, but we well know how fickle spring

in Nevada can be. While enjoying this lovely benign day, I will not put away my

winter jacket yet. Betty Owen Journals 2003

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