It’s been so drab for so long. It didn’t help to wake up to dense fog, which obliterated all surroundings, brown or otherwise. My morning run took me up to Hawk Ridge, where nature defied all knowledge of Lake Superior or even houses below. With my senses screaming for stimulation, I went out on a mission to find color.
Knowing I’d need to get away from the lake to lose the fog, I headed up to Hartley Park. Getting out of the car I could already tell the difference – the sun that had finally emerged packed some real warmth, and it wasn’t long before I was shedding layers in the welcome heat. The hunt was already off to a good start.
My primary mission was to find wildflowers. That meant sticking to trails that were more out in the open, in the hopes that I would find a microcosm of spring where things were blooming. What I found instead were nascent blades peaking through the fall’s dead grasses, ferns beginning to take form and little else. I realized I might have to lower my expectations, and look for color in other forms.
Reaching Hartley Pond I found a peaceful scene. There a lone loon dove and surfaced in the calm waters. I gradually became aware of the birds singing in the trees and the sounds of nature surrounding me. I decreed that the blue of the sky reflected in the pond, surrounded by the green trees qualified as color.
Moving on, I was glad for my hiking boots as I slogged through wet and muddy terrain. In following one of the little streams, I spotted the shiny green head of a mallard. He cooperated long enough to pose for me, and I decided to chalk another one up for spring color.
I marveled at the fascinating plants growing alongside the stream, with their bulging balls bobbing above the leaves. And then I saw them – flowers! They were Marsh Marigolds, and I found one – and only one – that was in full boom! My first wildflower of the season, glowing in a radiant yellow and brightening my day. I could finally declare success. And if one wild flower is in bloom, surely others are soon to follow. I can’t wait for the explosion of color.