Comfortable temperatures – in the seventies – found me reluctant to stay inside. Although my itchy eyes are reacting to the pollen, it is worth it just to be outdoors.

A pair of Canadian Geese have taken up residence on a pond, as well as a pair of mallards. The ducks were a bit less cooperative when it came to having their pictures taken though, and quickly rose from the reeds to take to the air as we approached the edge of the water.

Past the pond, and through the woods, we found a crispy field of broomstraw. The light breeze made it crackle and rustle, like a group of southern belles in long skirts with crinoline slips. Beyond the tan tips of the straw, the mountains seem to be waking up, greening in the distance. As I look at the straw, I am reminded of my maternal grandmother. She loved to make her own brooms out of this kind of thing. She knew how to gather and bind giant armfuls, then attach the whole mass to a long tree limb, effectively making her own soft broom. I wouldn’t have the faintest idea how to do such a thing.

Even the rocks seem more attractive than usual. Pink and white quartz sparkle in the sunlight. An outcropping of boulders looks like forest sculpture.

On the way home, I get a sudden glimpse of butter colored daffodils. Accentuating the gray and brown of the rocks and wood rails, they are impossible to pass without snapping a photo.

Mother Nature is making amends for the harsh winter. And it is even sweeter for all the days we have been imprisoned behind our doors, or wrapped from head to toe in thick wools, gloves and hats – or shoveling snow – or sliding on ice – or battling fierce wind.

Soon I’ll be too busy working outside to simply sit and enjoy. So this is the time to soak up fresh air and sunshine for its merits alone.