When I was a kid growing up in Massachusetts, we spent many a Sunday afternoon tooling around New England on back country roads and enjoying the scenery, sometimes taking a hike somewhere, or - my favorite - stopping at a farm stand that had ice cream.
This past Sunday my husband and I took a little after-dinner drive of our own, east of town. I noticed that the balsamroot (like dwarf sunflowers with silvery fuzzy leaves) was finally blooming on the south-facing hillsides while the mountains still had plenty of snow on them. We drove out a twisting one-lane road along a creek. It was so peaceful and beautiful back in that narrow valley, with the lowering sun bathing the cliffs high above us in golden light. I was really hoping for an owl or a moose - I wanted something magical to appear, but instead we got a flock of mountain sheep grazing in someone's yard.
They still had most of their winter coats intact and clearly were relishing the fresh grass. Very cool to see, but not quite the fantasy setting I'd pictured. There was also a large group of wild turkeys in another yard.
Not finding any owls or moose about, we eventually turned around and headed home. Once we got back into town, we stopped at our favorite ice cream stand. I had mocha chip with hot fudge and my husband had huckleberry with oreos. Mmmm. You just shouldn't mess with a good tradition.