| I was home to enjoy it all for just a few days in March, getting out early before the sun softened the surface. We had many snowfalls this past winter, which meant most outings had been to re-track snowed-over trails without a lot of adventuring through the bush. The March conditions weren't the best for skiing but walking was a delight - though it gets tricky walking over bullrushes and swamp grass. A foot can sink thigh-deep, and fear of a wet boot makes for speedy extraction! Sometimes creeping on hands and knees is the only sure-fire way of staying on the surface, as some of us can attest.
There was lots of wildlife about: Coyotes marking the fields with massed footprints - hints of midnight revelry; otter-slides at the slopes of melting creeks at the lake edge - identified by faeces full of shiny fish scales; and a dead young beaver on a bloody patch of ice in the middle of the lake surrounded by white-spattered bird shit. Caught and killed by what? And always birds at bird feeders, and announcements of the year's first redwing blackbird or crossbill.
The snow had shrunk somewhat by the time I left for New Zealand's autumn. The days here in NZ are getting colder and as far as I can see the only native species in bloom is the toi-toi - and it is probably not blooming but seeding! I hear that at home there's almost no snow left, x-c skis have been put away, and I bet my neighbour already has lettuce up and ready to eat. Late though it is, I'll send this email out, and perhaps even have a spring garden picture on the website before summer!