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Spring Has Sprung

Spring does not get enough respect when it comes to the seasonal world order. Winter elicits a passionate response – either love for the cold blanket of snow, snuggling around warm fires and the joys of the holidays, or pure hatred for the icy darkness that lingers and reaches deep into the bones. Summer is full of positive vibes, with its long days, patio parties and hot weather. Throngs of people head to the beaches, mountains and woods to get away from it all and enjoy every drop of sunlight each day. Heck, fall even has pumpkin spices, sweater weather and football.

 

Where is the love for spring?

Give Spring its Dew While the cold heavy blanket of snow finally starts to retreat to high mountain peaks, spring comes out of hiding in the shadows and starts to awaken from its slow slumber. Spring really is like “morning” of seasons. Maybe not a Monday morning, but a Friday or Saturday. You aren’t upset that you are awake and have to get ready for work but you can definitely hit snooze a time or two. Once you get out from the covers that you have been hiding under for months, you realize it really isn’t that bad. As the snow and cold depart we are left with one of my favorite things: the morning dew. Early in spring, the dew shows itself as frost on the grass of our favorite trails. The gentle crunch of the still blades under our hiking boot is proof that the season has started. The hikes begin to get longer and the layers can start to be tucked in our packs earlier and earlier in the day. Then, as if by some sort of magic, that same morning dew is no longer frozen on the next morning's hike. Instead, the grass is covered in tiny drops that glisten from the sun’s morning rays. The ground actually seems to sparkle in the mix of water and light. The chills you get at the trailhead are no longer from the cold, but instead the majesty of the lightly covered shimmering grass. It is like you are standing at the base of a rainbow that hasn’t decided if it wants to stretch to the sky. It is there just for you. The early morning hiker, rewarded with a glowing welcome from mother nature.

The Spring Stretch As March turns to April, the spring days stretch longer and longer. They begin to show the potential that only the true believers see from those early cold mornings. The frost is gone now. A small chill may linger in the morning air but, it is just there to appreciate the warm afternoon even more. The days aren’t the only thing to stretch in length. The flowers also begin to shake the ice from their roots and reach for the beams of golden sunlight. The early spring mud of the trail starts to dry out and the trail has a bit of a spring (no pun intended) to it. Your foot feels lighter with each step. Partly because those added pounds from winter hibernation have started to shed, but more because the trails that had sat desolate for six months since the leaves dropped in the fall are now full of life. Leaves are green and waving playfully in the wind. The flowers dot the land with pinks and reds. Animals who had been far from sight in those winter months have now returned to feast, and they have brought their babies with them. You don’t see a fawn when you are gulping down that pumpkin spice, now do you?

Sprung As the calendar turns to May and the Sun begins to win its yearly battle with the Moon to claim the sky a little longer each day, spring has officially sprung. This might be the best time of the year. The flowers have started to open, the water that was frozen solid just months before is now flowing freely in streams and waterfalls. Spring is showing off now. The trails get busier in May – and for very good reason. The world becomes a picture frame in May. Every time you turn your head it is like you are seeing a masterpiece that should be hung in a museum. The colors never get better than May. The greens are brighter, the sky is bluer, and even the mountains have a shine to their brown and gray rock. The trail hasn’t completely dried out yet and turned to a dusty shell of itself. All is right. Spring has sprung.

No Respect So, you can have your long days of summer. When the sun is lazy in the sky and not moving with purpose. You can have your changing colors of the fall. The brown, orange, and red that takes a normal mountainside and makes it look like a Monet painting. You can even have your winters. With the soft layer of snow stretching as far as the eye can see. Skiing and hot chocolate in front of the fire. Sure, those all may sound really good – this world is amazing – but I will take the Spring. And I won’t play favorites. I will take the spring with the frigid mornings on the trail that turn to warm days, the flowers from stem to bloom. I will take the shorter days of April and the longer days of May. The frozen trail as it leads me through the morning dew and all the way to rainbows that finally decide to reach into blue skies. Yep, I will take the spring and spring has sprung in all its glory.

About the Author: Greg is the creator of Fatmanlittletrail.com(Se abre en una ventana nueva).  His goal is to inspire other unlikely hikers to find the mental and physical benefits of spending time outdoors on the hiking trails and in nature through his unique writings about the subject. We sat down with Greg to learn more about his journey - read more here!(Se abre en una ventana nueva)