Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Steep Gulch outside Leadville, CO
I started down from Hope Mountain in a light rain -- so light I could still look about normally. The Gentians were closed against the storm, though. The face of a deer caught the corner of my eye, and the recognition became an involuntary turn of the head, in time to see her do the same.
Down, down through the mats and then thickets and then forests of Engelmann spruce, as if dull silver-evergreen tips remember dry copper-containing ore. Where the spruce grow tall they let the mat juniper have the understory. And now mats of strawberries...I noticed a tiny wild strawberry sitting on the lip of the mountain squirrel's burrow; ripening in the sun or dropped from his paws when my oversize shadow darkened his door? Without hesitation I picked it up and ate it in two heavenly bites. No regret.
Two butterflies were fluttering over and on one another, surely engendering piles of caterpillars in the underbrush.