“If we had no winter, the Spring would not be so pleasant:
if we did not sometimes taste of adversity,
prosperity would not be so welcome.”

Anne Bradstreet (1612 – 1672)

We’re now part way to vaccinated, but not all the way there just yet. Nonetheless, we’ve got our first big adventure for 2021 coming up at the end of this month. It’s local (no airplanes, for the moment) and all outdoors (generous social distancing), so, as with our mule trip last September, we’re not anticipating any after effects. Still, it’ll be better than good to finish with the vaccinations. We realize that these are controversial for some but for those of us who grew-up facing the very real threats of polio and smallpox or needed immunization certificates to travel, they’re simply not. So, until the jabs are done, we’re still sticking with local hikes, which, fortunately, always seem refreshingly different every time we do them.

Which brought us, yet again, to Forest Park, where we had time – on a slightly overcast but otherwise beautiful Spring day 😎 – for a short walk. By going up the Rattlesnake Gulch and Knobcone Pine Trails, we managed to turn a 4 mile (6.4 km) stroll into a 1,250 foot (381 m) of gain aerobic workout. There are no leaves yet on the canyon maples but a few locally classic wildflowers are out on southwest facing slopes. There is even some water still flowing in the principal creeks. Although we can expect increased floral exuberance in the weeks ahead, this was nonetheless a good start to the Spring of a new (and better) year. 🙂

Rusty Popcornflower
Great Hound’s Tongue
Henderson Shooting Star
Scarlet Fritillary
Redstem Storksbill
Henderson Fawn Lily
A colonnade of madrones on the upper Pipsissewa Trail
Deep claw marks on a madrone (we are not alone out there)
Madrone abstract
Leaves from Spring past
Still some flow in Norling Creek