..in the last few days, before the forest leafs out and the world turns green.
You can already see it. The skunk cabbage are one of the first.
There's something about a forest without leaves. Sounds dreadful when I see it written. But not for me. The bare bones of the tree trunks, the ability to see through a forest, the lines and shapes, the structure... in another week or so, the leaves will begin to fill out, and all of that will be hidden until autumn.
Sunday morning, as I passed by side trail another hiker / photographer walked out from it. As our pace was about the same (trying to beat the rain), we struck up a conversation. Mostly, it had to do with our special fondness for the winter woods. We talked about our feeling of urgency to see as much as we can in the next couple weeks, before the leaves obscure. Interesting. We shared notes on favorite trails, and then, at the next split, parted ways.
You could almost watch the woods change as it rained. Leaves began to unfurl and already, there is a light green mist of tiny dancers in the trees.