Butterfly Kisses

Hike to "Frog" Rock
Middle Cottonwood Creek Trail
85 degrees F. and clear with light breeze

I hopped over Middle Cottonwood Creek twice—once keeping my feet dry and the second time stepping into a pool of cold,  clear mountain water, deep enough to seep into my boots. Just enough water to dampen my wool socks. Once on my favorite meditating spot—a granitic bedrock slab of gneiss—I removed my boots and rolled of my socks. I love the feel of polished stream bed gneiss under my bare feet.

No sooner had I placed my damp socks in the sun than two iridescent pale blue butterflies landed
on them and began sipping sweat and stream moisture from the wool fibers. Meanwhile, butterflies in black, yellow and speckles flew across the rushing snow melt as it raced toward the far away sea, weaving patterns with dragon flies and reflections off the water on boulders and lush foliage.

The undersides of wild maples, dogwoods, grasses and wildflowers shimmered in the reflected light, while I sipped the sound of tumbling creek and a pair of American Dippers flew up stream. Above me Swainson's Thrushes and Warbling Vireos filled conifers with song.  A flock of pale yellow butterflies gathered beside the stream, reminding me of their gathering a year ago on the day my mother passed on. My daughter and I had been hiking when the call came "your Mother passed." My mother had always said that when she passed on she wished to come back as a butterfly so she could give everyone butterfly kisses. Has she kissed me since she left?

Just as I was about to gather up my sock fountain for butterflies, one of the Dippers flew right by me on a downstream trip and did his little dance for a moment before diving into the rushing water for an insect morsel.

On my way back down the path toward the trail head, a hummingbird hovered along in the bushes beside me!

The birds I saw or heard today were: Hummingbird (perhaps Calliope), Swainson's Thrush,  Warbling Vireo, Dark-eyed Junco, Ruby-Crowned Kinglet andAmerican Dipper.