Spring is in its early stages up here In The Woods.

On my way to the Post Office this afternoon to mail off my taxes, I saw a few daffodils nodding their cheery yellow heads in a front yard on the main street.

The buds are appearing on the trees, but nothing is in full leaf yet. Tiny signs of life in the form of dandelions and violets are starting to peek out from the meadow grasses.

Years ago, L. planted some daffodils on the property which are about to bloom.

James took the following picture last week when some green shoots first appeared below the cabin. We think they’re some sort of mountain iris.

The air is softer now and we’ve already enjoyed some warm days; the temperature even hit 70˚F recently.

The lilac bush outside the Bunkhouse has begun to display buds:

It still gets down to freezing at night, but somehow it doesn’t feel as cold as the same temperature did over the winter months.

Cat Rupert is now spending most of the day outdoors. Here he is napping under a section of barnboard which James tore down last Fall:

James lights a fire in the morning and keeps it going until noon, at which point it’s no longer needed. For a while he lit fires again at night, but lately it’s been mild enough to get by with just the small electric heater.

For the past few weeks, we’ve been hacking out paths in the thick of the Woods near the Yuba River. Loppers have become our best friends! Here is the beginning of the path:

Further down the hill is the area where we hacked out a lot of blackberry bushes:

We’re developing a lovely scenic trail to the river; it wends its way through stands of moss-covered old trees and rocks,

sometimes entangled with blackberry bushes, then over fallen trunks and over large rocks which had been set into piles by the Chinese during long-ago mining days.

It may be difficult to gauge the proper depth perception in the following shot of the river, but it gives an idea how the path wends its way near this slate ledge:

Here’s a beautiful long-shot of the Yuba River:

The path eventually joins the trickling stream which leads down to the metal ladder to the private beach and the water.

There are some interesting moss patterns on the trees and rocks. This is an unusual rotted trunk which has kept its shape:

Up to now, we have accessed the river from the opposite direction, past the little cabin L. and friends had built in the early 1970s. It is a much shorter and steeper trail.

This new path is more level and takes a bit longer (all of ten minutes, perhaps, at a leisurely pace) but has more geographical variety than the other one.

It’s been fun to clear out the blackberry bushes and lop off small pine trees and trim branches to create this intimate trail, and then walk along it regularly to further establish its identity.

Here’s a short video of the waterfall which flows behind the metal ladder leading to the river beach:

I wanted to make sure this posted before I go down the hill to Sacramento to rehearse and perform with the Philharmonic from Thursday through Saturday. I have not played with this group since their first concert set, Mahler 5th Symphony, back in October.

While I’m playing the horn in the orchestra, James will be helping my sister-in-law redecorate the old family house in preparation for her big graduation (from college, at age forty-plus!) party in late May. The house has been in need of a major freshening for years. James is an excellent interior painter and designer, and is excited about giving the house a new look.

We may stay in Sacramento as late as Tuesday, so Spring will be a bit further advanced when we finally return to The Woods. I’m glad that we won’t be absent for too long, as neither of us want to miss anything!