Posted by: highmountainmuse | April 29, 2009

Magic on the mountain


Spring is soft and muted in the high country.

Spring is soft and muted in the high country.

I know it won’t surprise you if I say there is magic on the mountain.  I imagine you have seen it and felt it too. When you are alone, and quiet, and calm.  Away from the distractions of motors and barking dogs and chatting neighbors… These things are fine, but sometimes, to just be away, to be silent and still. When you can be tranquil, and let your eyes absorb what is really there before us, not just what you expect to see, are told to see. Then you can listen, smell, dig in and feel the mountain.  Then the magic comes alive for you, doesn’t it?  It’s like a game. We seek and we will find.  Peeking into the woods, or over the next summit, finding the magic on the mountain. The mountain is free to share her magic.


Off the beaten trail is where the secrets lie, you know that. In the time of silence and still, early in the morning when only the wild are awake; alone by the river, on the cliffs, or deep in the woods; away from sights and sounds of human kind.


Some days the magic shines.  Other days it is so subtle.  We could miss it if we don’t look closely. But you know it is always there.


Yesterday we embarked upon a magical journey. You may say it was one of the subtle kinds. For me, it sparkled brightly.  


I brought the boys up the mountain to hear the frogs. We inched  along on our hands an knees, close enough to peak over into the pond, so discreet and respectful they never stopped their singing, in hopes perhaps of stealing a glance of these tiny little creatures.  But alas, they remain elusive.  Their song they will share with us; their vision they keep to themselves, as we keep our distance and not disturb their song. 


On the way home, we wandered upon a well used elk track, with evident signs of life from this new season, through snow banks hip deep, then out from the woods onto a new view. The mountain as I have never seen it, just a little bit different from every hill top, you know.  And there before me, so small and simple but so full of promise and hope, the first flower of the season, a tiny jewel in this often overwhelming landscape, the needle in the haystack,  Ah, but there are so many if we just stop to look…  Can we see this tiny flower when the mountain looms so huge before us? So easy to overlook.


The mountains first blossom.

The mountains first blossom.

Continuing home, we passed Bobcat tracks through the mud, not yet washed away by the overflowing creeks washing down the trail.


And as I cross the fence line to get home, stepping over the barbed wire I hear a rustle then a ruckus no more than twenty five feet to my right, hard to see through the woods.  Then a squeal.  And the Red Tail takes off with the squirrel…



  1. Gin you sure know how now to make a person homesick

  2. Gon? What kind of flower is this? I love the shape – it looks like a fallen star hiding amongst last years leaves & grsses!

  3. Excuse the type-o, Gin. My fingers want to be outside, not typing! *insert sheepish grin here*

  4. Maggie – made me chuckle, because first I wondered if “gon” was the name of the flower! I am pretty sure it is “yellow stonecrop,” an alpine zone herb, but I am not for certain. It is always the first to bloom on the mountain, and is over and done with before the tourists (and those who make the flower books) make it to the high country. It’s tiny; the blossom less than 1/4 inch across, and grows in these harsh, rocky southern exposed slopes. If anyone can tell me for certain, I would love to know…

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