Aki and I picked this trail through the old growth today because heavy rain can’t impose its full will on us in here. We walked over frozen ground our last visit, now softened by rain and what passes for the warmth of spring. Then only the winter evergreens and foolhardy skunk cabbage showed much color.
Today blueberry and huckleberry bushes cover the understory with a canopy, thick and undulating enough to mimic in green an unsettled sea. With the swollen creek’s song almost masking those of nesting birds I imagine launching our double kayak from the trail to explore among the spruce islands but only after pulling the spray skirts tight to keep from being swamped with fresh leaves.
The berry bushes’ exuberance doesn’t spell the end of winter. They have a history of misjudging the seasons. I hold out for sign from the forest elders, devil’s club and spruce, before packing away the ice cleats; finding it in the cabbage like growths forming at the tip of each devil’s club stalk, the swelling needle buds that will soon form dark green accents at on the edges of every spruce twig and branch.