April came with a mix of weather but not enough moisture to slow down our spring thaw. We ended the winter season with about 75% of average snowfall or 316 inches. A cool, wet spring would help prolong the summer flower season and reduce fire potential. Unfortunately temperatures were warm in April with mostly dry conditions. Snow has receded up the peaks and the southern parts of the valley are starting to turn green.
My travels took me to Costa Rica. I enjoyed the beach, playing in the surf, exploring tide pools, hiking to waterfalls, discovering the jungle and time to relax and rejuvenate. Jackson life allows us to work hard then take a break. April is considered off-season in our little valley so most businesses close and many locals depart for an adventure. I have returned with a spring in my step, opening business for summer, and enjoying all the changes.
The word around the valley is our winter weather was “weird.” I can imagine those on the East Coast feel the same way. Local meteorologist, Jim Woodmency, reflected on why. He says that the Pacific Ocean usually cools in the fall and winter and it didn’t. This created a ridge of high pressure over the west coast blocking most storms. The high pressure created a low in the East so big storms there. Regardless of the reason, I am sure that we all agree. We don’t like weird and don’t want a repeat next year.
April 22 is Earth Day. What a wonderful day to celebrate our home and honor Mother Nature. It started in 1970 and the increased awareness helped momentum for the Clean Air and Water Act. Today in 2015, we have to look at sustainable development and climate change. We can each reflect on our role, how we can help. With today’s population, we must all make an effort. The US is a top polluter. Let’s rally for change! Let’s protect the earth! She deserves it.
The melting snow and warmer temperatures have all animals on the move. Herbivores are heading to summer territories and enjoying vibrant, green vegetation on the way. Spring is the season of birth so young will be seen any day. Bison and Moose are the first calves to be seen. Canines are in dens with young pups. Larger birds are sitting on nests such as owls, eagles and ravens. Songbirds return and are busy establishing territories, finding mates and building nests. You can’t help but feel the energy.
April ends with new leaves emerging and the valley turning to the vibrant green of spring. May begins with the opening of trails, spring blossoms and rain in the forecast.
What’s in the woods
4/5- Teton Village- ski area closes, sunny day
4/8-4/29- Costa Rica- toucans, scarlet macaw, mott-mott, octopus, wood quail, tara, quetzal, red deer, kiskadee, flycatchers, cherrie tanager
4/30- flat creek- bluebell blooming about creek
With our early spring, many trails are open. May 1 is the end of the winter trail closure so we are free to use the trails. Some will be closed to motorized use so do take a look at the travel plan but if you want to hike, choices are endless. Bradley and Taggert Lakes are always fun to explore in the park. Hiking in the Gros Ventres is great early season so consider Grizzly Lake. Josie’s Ridge is open near town. Make sure to make noise. Animals can be very protective of their young. Have fun and here’s to a great season!