On Good Friday, we are a gaggle–4 instructors and a crew of students– content to wander up the narrow dirt track alongside Tranquille Creek. The male cottonwood flowers color the upper branches fushia purple. This is what makes me happy–wandering with intent. I become fascinated with the small moments of time that I have missed in previous years. How many times can I watch cottowood leaves emerge before I notice how the first green pokes out as small green linear protuberances. In the company of other biologists, the world is fuller. I probably would have missed the Townsend’s Solitaire and while I have been watching the kestrels in the big cottonwood at the trailhead, I definitely would have missed the moment of their “cloacal kisss.”
This, then, is the beginning of spring: marked moments of time accumulating with frustrating slowness in late March, and then exploding into a crescendo of overlapping events in mid April.