About two weeks ago I dropped LC off at a dentist in Blackfoot and drove with Kory down to the park in back of town.
The day was windy, overcast, damp and bleak.
Jensens Grove is a multi-purpose park that is owned and operated by the city.
Containing a 2 mile greenway that circumnavigates the 55 acre lake, this park also has a couple of covered shelters, covered and uncovered picnic tables, multiple play equipment stations, basketball courts, a skate park and frisbee golf stations.
For an in-town park, it is a wonderful recreation facility within the city limits and is only minutes away from shopping, schools, and all of the other trappings that make up a small town.
On this damp day Kory and I were a pair of only a few visitors to the park.
As expected the lake was still devoid of water, and (as I untangled Korys' leash after she eagerly jumped out of the Tahoe) I looked to see if the lake was filled with water yet.
Idaho is much like Wyoming, in that winter hangs around for a long time and only gives up its icy grip on the region under protest.
There had been many promising signs that spring was coming soon.
But it was not quite here. Not yet. Not quite yet.
Pulling the zipper higher on my lined rain jacket and pulling my wool hat down a little lower, we wandered to our right. Towards the large pavilion and in the direction of the tiny airport that is located just beyond the park.
The snow was all gone by this time, but the remnants of a large snow ball or small snow man remained...............
LC was going to be a while, but not a long while, and on this very cool and dreary day I let Kory take the lead.
As she happily used her nose to investigate this new and interesting place, I looked around me.
Soon the park would be filled with skate boarding, running, playing, swimming, boating locals.
Only a couple of months from now.
In the meantime I liked the quiet.
The greyness. The wind. The dampness. The bare trees and screeching seagulls and silence of the park.
Even the ugliness of the lake bottom that silently stared back at me while I waited for Kory to be ready to move on, was somehow compelling..............
Still standing in the middle of a large grassy area, and still waiting for my dog to move on, it began to snow.
The big, fat, heavy, wet snowflakes of spring.
The ground was too warm and the snow melted almost the very moment it hit the ground, but as I looked around me I realized that it was snowing heavily.
For a moment I wondered how my non-waterproof camera would hold up.
Surely it would be fine.................
Eventually my inquisitive dog and I began to slowly wander again, and as we headed towards the still-dry lake I smiled at the sign.
There would not be any swimming happening any time soon..............
By the time we had walked up to the pavilion and looked out over the world while enjoying a few moments of reprieve from the cold and wet snow, those who were walking in the park had hurried back to their vehicles and were making a hasty retreat.
Heading back to their homes or their jobs or their classrooms.
By the time my dog and I had walked back to and then beyond the Tahoe, there were few people left in the park.
The silence was deafening. And welcome.
The interstate still paralleled the park, but motorists had slowed down as the snow increased and as visibility decreased.
The world was quieter, if not quiet................
The larger pavilion, that contains two huge fireplaces, picnic tables and protection from the weather.
As I sat on the table portion of one of the picnic tables for a few minutes I watched my dog.
I was soaking wet and beginning to get cold. She was soaking wet as well, but the cold did not seem to bother this Florida dog.
Kory is developing a troubling affinity for running away these days.
More accurately, she returns for a while when we are walking together on BLM land. and everything goes according to plan until the moment it doesn't.
Inevitably she runs towards town, and she is so fast that within a minute she is out of sight and long gone.
Which inevitably leads to a phone call so LC can drive through town to retrieve her.
It is almost becoming a game to her, and finally in frustration and the desire to get through to her that running away was neither a game nor acceptable, I smacked her on the butt a couple of times today when we finally found her.
Is this how she ended up in a shelter in Florida in the first place?
We don't know. Maybe.....
It is a recent (but increasingly common) scenario.
Neither LC nor I are quite sure how to break her of this but we need to figure something out.
She is an intelligent dog. When we finally catch up with her she knows that she has done wrong.
Kory and I stayed a long while longer at the park before returning to the Tahoe and heading back to the dentist office.
It was only after downloading the pictures that I took after we got home that I realized that my camera had gotten wet, and all the other pictures that I had taken (of seagulls and playground equipment and a man playing frisbee golf alone in the snow and Kory standing on top of a concrete column in the skate park) were nothing more than splotchy, wet messes.
A picture of the inside roof on a colorful and large piece of childrens' play equipment..................
A week later LC, Kory and I were again at the same park.
The lake had water, the day was cool but also very beautiful, and on this day we explored in the watery sunshine.............
The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month................Henry Van Dyke