It's one of those damp, still mornings when the grey layer hangs on the mountains near the 200' level. The moist blanket amplifies the hum of the first batch of mosquitoes as they flurry on the screen door, whining a song of hungry frustration. A foot away, I dance a little self congratulatory gig for having the gardens and trails tended to, Before the Hatch.
My daughters and I earned our brush and bug creds for the season while
climbing the mountain above Thirty-five mile hill two days ago.
We wove our way through tangles of Alder, prehistoric False Hellebore (chest high and luxurious) and
spires of towering Devil's Club. The alpine meadows are in full blossom laced in the
decaying snow pack. All, but the very highest reaches, though shockingly beautiful, were swarming with hungry hordes on wings.
Last week, we added a wonderful new family member to the next generation from Thirty-nine Mile. Tu-pher is a three year old Husky sled-dog who comes to us from the Stanford family -via- Haines Animal Rescue Kennel. She'll inherit Mason's crown as lead trail boss, when he's ready to pass it on. I've kept the two little Oberhasli does born this spring. Together, they're mastering necessary backwoods skills; logs, stream crossing, steep inclines, staying out overnight, and are not far from graduating to small packs. We should be an awesome quartet.
Fair, bountiful summer. Ha! Dare I say it? I miss the freedom of moving across the winter landscape.