Slow Spring Coming!

Believe it or not, the photo above while taken early January, doesn't look much different than the view that greeted my eyes April 23rd when I finally made it back to the resort.

Not that I haven't wanted to go home. Wanted might not be a strong enough term. I'm craving the peace, quiet and complete relaxation which only comes from returning home.

But, like my title says, it's been a slow spring coming! A wetter than usual winter. A cooler than normal spring. A slower than normal road department. All this, and more, has denied us access to Elk Lake.

In spite of the challenges, however, we gained our objective yesterday, via snowmobile.

We took advantage of a brief window - a window created by 6 - 8 inch of new snow, a couple of cold days which firmed the surface of the existing snow, and a beautiful, sunny day!

In spite of the winter drapery, signs of spring are visible (and very welcome) at Elk Lake. Several meadowlarks watched our arrival from their roadside perches. Many south facing slopes have shrugged off their winter cape and are soaking in the sun with obvious pleasure.

Moose are leaving the valley floor - although slowly - seeking out fresh grazing and the freshly sprouting shrubbery. And, as an aside, it is a GOOD thing because the wolves have been wrecking havoc on our moose population. It sure proves a few old fashioned winters with the current wolf population could end up descimating our moose and elk population. After all, weak from low feed, limited in their movements by the heavy snow, and lacking fangs and claws for an even fight, prey are definitely at a disadvantage!

But, back on track - new openings are appearing in the lake's ice. The spring near the lodge is flowing with merry abandon. Wolves, coyotes, foxes and numerous other prey animals are expanding their territory - with their tracks appearing all over the place.

The hawks are changing color - from their white winter plumage to their darker summer colors. In fact, I have even seen my first bluebird, always a welcome sign of spring!

So, if Beaverhead County would get on the ball and open our road, I'd be back home 'with bells on'! I dare not say spring is my favorite time of year at Elk Lake (since I've said that about every season at least once), but I this year, my anticipation of spring and my anticipation of going home are equally intense!

Lady of the Lake

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