We are in that shoulder part of the year for trails. The sometimes nice frozen trails have given way to melt and mud. We wait for bluebells, trilliums and the single track to dry out. Most seasoned folks know that this is the time to stay off the trails and let them heal. All sorts of plants, some desired and others not all (see invasive species like Dog Strangling vine, though that comes later) are pushing their way through last year’s leaves. Boston is just a few weeks away and our groups will hit the trails as soon as I return. It has been this way for the past 5 years. I love this part of the year, so much before us and so much of it is glorious and gentle. This year there is no Boston, which for me seems so odd after 17 of them, and no trail groups. Even the small groups of 9 or so spread out in the woods, even at six feet apart or more is not a good idea. I will miss this and you who have been part of my spring, and fall, for the past five years. I know most of you as well as I know the woods, familiar and amazing, honest and kind. Shoots are already poking their stems out of the soil, new growth for the valley and us. I hope we can make our way through this new year without many of our familiars. When this winter of discontent and steep challenges passes I truly hope we will find each other well and healthy. When the time comes we will meet again and talk of roots, running form and many other things. Until then, thank you to you all. I am not given much to expressing my emotions publicly but perhaps this one time, I miss you all very much.