The morning was shrouded in fog. Mist hung on the singed aspen trees and the white barked limbs were laden in charcoal. The scent of smoke was still lingering, after all this time, soaked into the trunks of the trees and into replenishing the soil. Our shoes sunk into wet red clay as we assessed the damage of the fire here in Wyoming last summer. Our beautiful mountain had caught fire due to a spark from the exhaust of an ATV. Thousands of acres of ponderosa pines, aspens and prairie grasses and sage were ravaged by the flames along with a few cabins.
How happy we were to see fresh deer tracks, bear scat, woodpeckers hammering away on the aspen trees still left standing. Teeny tiny sprigs of lime green petals and delicate pastel flowers looking for all the world like cheerful stars on the ground. Flying low, a turkey vulture circled above our heads and out of a rock pile, mister fuzzy marmot showed his face, fleetingly. A yellow-green hummingbird bid us farewell, hovering and whirring in place, as we hiked on down the red dirt road.