It was another glorious almost-springlike day on Sunday, and OmegaDad, buried under his Ethnic Studies coursework, wanted to Be Alone. So I hauled OmegaDotter out hiking in the woods at the bottom of Hippy Dippy Enclave in the Woods. The plan was to follow the old railroad grade out southward, but the dotter had other ideas, and struck out cross-country very shortly after we hit the grade.
So we wandered along, walking on old patches of snow that had crusty tops, clambering over piles of old branches, peering at lichen-covered rocks, eyeballing the (very few) little plants that were poking out and thinking that maybe, just maybe, it was time to think of growing.
I persuaded the dotter to take a picture of me. The first, alas, was just my bottom half, but we laughed, she took the camera back, and aimed again. The result: I didn't crop the picture at all!
While the dotter was poking at the snow, and scooping up crystalline clumps of ice, I was finding things to look at, myself. The bold black and grey stumps standing out against the snow are the result of long-ago logging in this area; before HDEW was a vacation home spot, it was a logging camp (that is also the reason there's an old railroad grade).
A few of the tree trunks were looking the way they would look in summertime--bright yellow bark plates surrounded by black edges. In the summertime, in the heat, in the midst of the sound of bees buzzing and breezes sighing through the needles, if you press your nose against the bark of these old trees, and take a deep breath through your nose, you are overwhelmed by an aroma of eggnog: nutmeg, vanilla, other scents blend together into a heady pronouncement of the season. I was lured by the vision of the bark into taking a whiff; alas, it wasn't warm enough to produce that special Ponderosa Pine fragrance.
In spots, there were areas of very thin ice, which had rumped--maybe by the winds, maybe from the action of melting and freezing again. They made very satisfying crackling crunches when you stepped on them, but they were so beautiful in the sunlight that I had to stop the dotter from doing that more than once or twice!
After a while, OmegaDotter said that she had had enough. "This is a long walk!" she pronounced. I find it wonderful that she has reached the point where she knows she's gone too long, and knows that we will need to take just as much to get back--and this point is reached ever-so-slightly further each time we go out. Ahhh. Someday, we'll be doing real hikes!
So we turned around and climbed back up to the bottom of HDEW, to get into the car and head into town for lunch. We were both very hungry by this point!
We got all the way into town before I realized (oops!) that I had left my wallet (including--gasp!--driver's license) at home. We drove back home, drove back into town, ate, hit the road for a nap ride, and then headed off to the mall, so the dotter could play at the mall playground.
Then we went to Clare's. Ahem. It is the epitome of girly-girl places. And OmegaDotter is just now beginning to really get into girly-girlishness. There were hair doo-dads--the dotter decided she wanted the kitty-cat with the basketball and the basketball ribbon (?). As the cashier was ringing it up, she asked if we were interested in the "surprise bags", a buck apiece. Oh, my. How could I resist? I grabbed one, we paid, we left, we whisked past all the stores closing up their doorways, and in the car, the dotter sank into a glory of bright blue charm bracelets, her very own chapstick, a little pot of blue glitter dust, and, to top it all off, little faux diamond earrings that fasten with magnets!
Alas, the spring weather has brought other harbingers of things to come: the state had its first red flag warning of the season this week, and this morning, on the way to preschool, we passed the area forest service office which was swarmed with Wildland Fire Fighting trucks. We've had a very dry winter, with only half the normal amount of snow. This means my loyal readers will be hearing more moaning and groaning about fire season very soon...