A mist drifted up the canyon a couple of nights ago. I’m not sure where it came from – it wasn’t one of those cold air, warm water ones. It didn’t seem to have anything to do with the creek or, lower down, the river. It drifted up and turned everything dark; the cottonwood branches spooky black lines disappearing into grey, the evening early, quiet. No frost at night. Then it rained. Rained hard.
We catch a whiff of cottonwood buds fattening up, the nettles pop out of last year’s tangle, the wild currants are in leaf. Chickadees, of course, and juncos. Nuthatches and robins. The racket of hummingbirds at the feeder, sapsuckers, flickers, even snipes in the distance. White-crowned sparrows scratching for seeds. The ravens nesting just up the creek cruise through, looking for dinner.
We can hear the creek now from our bedroom window. It’s rising, darkening, foaming at obstructions. A pair of harlequins are courting just above the log jam where yellow-rumped warblers flutter and snatch at the surface of the water. A spotted sandpiper stares at us. Golden-crowned kinglets buzz in the spruce trees beside us. We wait for the lone Pacific wren to begin its aria.
The lobaria, ashy flakes just last week, is plumped up green and luscious. Alectoria and usnea, glittering with raindrops. Xanthoria’s orange, even brighter.
The air is soft and alive with colour, with movement, with music.
Thanks to our neighbour, Greg Wedlock, for the harlequin photos.