We have a beautiful little woods just above our house, and we’ve been working up there for the past couple of days. It is north-facing, so it’s more of a lush forest than a crackly dry one. Our trees are mostly young aspens and young-to-middle-aged ponderosa pines. Bright green moss and delicate lichen cover rocks, fallen logs, and areas of the ground. Last year’s flattened puffball fungus lie everywhere under the leaves, and the juniper berries are turning blue. There are no snakes here, and I’ve heard that only one species of frog can survive at this altitude. I haven’t seen it yet.
We are making a trail. It’s a small half-acre area we’re working in (the fenced part of our 1 1/3 acres) but the trail winds around and covers a good area of ground. It’s so much fun–and the kids and I are building little “houses” along the way, while David and Caleb cut dead and fallen trees and drag them out for firewood. The goats come too, and look like little Swiss goats, leaping from rock to rock and nibbling at pine sprigs.
It’s been raining for the last several days, and yesterday while we were having lunch it turned to thunder, lightning, and hail, followed by–you guessed it–snow. The rain is pretty unusual for this time of year (or any time of year, here) so we’re watching in wonder. The forecast for this whole week is rain, rain, rain–even down in the lower lands like Boulder and Lakewood.
It feels incredible to finally be out in our woods, working. The kids run free through the woods and the quiet is broken only by Cash’s little voice when he loses sight of Zia in the trees. Life is springing up again–as much in us as in our woods–after a long, long winter. The air is light and fresh, the pungent smell of pines and moss and earth tingles in our nostrils, our hands get filled with dirt and our hair with leaves and needles. This is why we live here, in this wild place of sun and wind and snow–and we love it, with everything in us.