longer periods of daylight lend warmth to the spring morning. Everywhere new life abounds, bluebirds have returned to the mountains, the beautiful song of a meadowlark echoes from a nearby fence post. Deer wear a shaggy coat of ragged hair as they shed the long winter coats, fat bellied elk move through the brigh sunlight nearly every cow is carrying a soon to be born calf the remnants of last September rut. The natural renewal of nature is awe inspiring, flowers blooming at the edge of deep snowdrifts says to the watchful wilderness traveler that spring will not wait. It can't wait, the season of growth, and new life is only a few short months. Sooner than we want to realize it snow and bitter cold will return here to deaden the land and lock nature in an icy grip for many months.I love the early spring time, turkeys strutting, larks singing and freshly dropped elk sheds in the high places. Ground squirrels and prairie dogs standing in bright sunshine surveying their newly dug mounds for the ferocious badger and hawks who eat them and are constant in their search for food to feed their young. Everywhere I look I see new life, new beginnings, and beautiful nature. I breathe in clean spring air, soak up bright sunshine and feel the burn in my legs as I traverse this wonderful mountainside. Fresh bear tracks along the ridge tell me that winter is long gone, I can see where the bear tore fresh grass from the earth, bears eat mostly grasses in the early spring to rid themselves of parasites and clean their digestive tract. A pair of ravens fly by calling to one another, the male flipping over upside down then righting mimself in trying to impress the female. Up against a broken pine tree at the edge of heavy timber a thick beamed elk shed lied half covered in snow, I pick up my newfound trophy and tie it to the pack with the others I have collected over these last few days. Hefting the pack once again I continue along. The ridge taking all the spring day has to offer, yep new life, new beginnings , new trails to walk ... I can't wait to see what is over the next rise, maybe another elk shed, maybe another majestic mountain view. Or maybe just warm sunshine on my face, and freedom for my soul..