If you compare this picture to the one below taken in May, you will see how different the mountain is in the middle of the summer. There is a sluggishness in the air as all life conserves energy and water. Now, the mountain smells like hay and crushed strawberries, and the dry dirt and stony paths need to be negotiated with the same caution as in the winter.
I could not choose a favorite time of year up here, but there is something in the heat and stillness of summer, which is different from the stillness of expectant spring or hibernating winter, that is unhurried; it encourages an emptying, a waiting–meditation. I heard no birds or bees this day. Few had ventured out to hike in the heat of the midday, at least not on the south side.
The mountain is very different from the irrigated industrial Blenkinsop gardens below, which are busy keeping up with the lettuce, potatoes, beans, and berries.
A few housekeeping items: there is a light at the north end of Shelbourne to allow safer crossing, and there are some new forest markers as well. Someone has also hung a swing from a tall tree. Go find it.
This website will change its focus soon. While I will continue to hike the mountain, this blog will be one category, and logged less frequently. I am starting to work on my postgraduate degree and I think I would like to document my progress. For those of you who subscribe, I hope you will continue to do so.
The summer is short: see it, feel it.