Saturday, May 26, 2012

Summer Snow

Today, the summer snows began.  I've admired these since I moved here more than twenty years ago.  I thought it was lovely, the way tiny puffs would fall slowly to the ground, glowing in the sunlight, the way it would blanket the ground in places.  When people complained of it, I'd just smile to myself.  I love this time of year.  There is nowhere I've ever lived that looks like this in the end of May.  This year is no disappointment.

I'm also a little that way about skunk cabbage.  Most people hate it, a plant that smells like a skunk if you step on it, a plant that thrives in swampy areas.  I love skunk cabbage, the way it holds up large yellow blooms early in the spring, blooms you can see from your car.  Not being a swamp-walker, I have never even accidentally stepped on one, so I have no idea if the smell is true to my memory of a skunk.  Indiana is full of the smell of skunks in the spring and summer.  I guess I just don't fit with people's opinions of things.  I don't mind seeing slugs on the trail either.  Or dandelions.  I think dandelions are pretty.  Plus, they're edible.  My grandma would have been able to tell you if they were good for your kidneys or your liver.  I wish I had listened to those things when she said them. 

Today, I walked with Teddy along a trail from the Tolt-MacDonald park toward the Snoqualmie Valley Trail.  Nick and Mike were way ahead of me on their bikes.  The trail was thick with the fluff from cottonwood trees.  And yes, it came down like snow.  A vortex swirled behind Teddy as he ran ahead of me, looking back almost as if to say, "Look at me!"

I tried to take a picture of the puffs gleaming in the late-afternoon light, but my little camera is bad with points of light.  That's the only thing I don't like about it.  It never captures the light the way I see it.  The cottonwood was so thick in the air, it did look like snow.  The only bad thing about that is that when you breathe snow into your mouth, it melts.  These felt like little bits of cotton.  Imagine that?  It went up my nose.  It went into my mouth.  My black shirt looked as though I'd been petting a cottonwood cat.  It was too thick to dodge as I walked. I wonder if you could make anything out of all that fluff?  It might make an allergy quilt.

Generally, I like the summer snows.  I don't really have much of an allergy to it, so I think it's pretty all banked together on the lee side of the trails. 

Somehow though, I was beginning to feel sick as I walked.  My eyes were itchy and tearing up.  My throat was not quite sore, but definitely scratchy.  I felt run down.  Was I catching the dreaded Seabeck flu or was this a bit of allergy?  I wasn't sure. 

When I got home, I took some allergy medicine and guess what?  It didn't take long for me to feel better.  I'm at least a little allergic to the beautiful summer snow.  Well, drat. 

You notice that, again, I managed NOT to tell you that juicy bit of gossip that I have sliding around under my tongue.  Nothing I write will be as interesting as long as I'm thinking about that.  Sorry.  Will I be able to restrain myself?

I can't wait until Tuesday when it's dog-walking time and I can tell all to my friend, Rachel.  I'll just have to take allergy medicine before I go traipsing around in the cottonwood fluff with her and the dogs.

Thank you for listening, jb

No comments:

Post a Comment