More Than Beauty

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Gatineau Meadow provides great awards for anyone willing to put in the modest effort required to reach it from sea level. We have snow shoed and cross country skied across it, read tracks in its snow and watched deer emerging onto its muskeg from the surrounding spruce forest. Unless low cloud cover hides them you can view our highest mountains from the meadow. Today, long after the winter snow melt, I am looking for summer flowers.

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Aki isn’t a flower fan. But while I shuffle from bog rosemary to Alaska violet, the little dog can leisurely check her pee mail. I usually have to coax her past the coyote trail. Today she scoots past it as if her wild cousins have moved south for better hunting.

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This morning, some of the meadow’s flowers offer more than beauty. A dramatic scene is unfolding in the yellow cup of a large-leafed avens blossom. Two legs of a tiny spider grip a flower pedal, tensed to pull the spider into the flower where a fly is trapped in a forest of long stamens. Aki’s patience is limited so I move on before the kill and look at a carnivorous sundew plant. I hate to hear her whine.

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