The other day I took a walk with a butterfly, along a winding road through the hills.
This is my favorite time of year, when springtime rolls out her plush carpet, woven in shades of green. For added interest she scatters wildflowers across the land, inviting all to come and see their delicate beauty.
I watched a fat little bumblebee work busily gathering nectar and pollen to take back to its hive.
Curious cows and new calves grazed contentedly in the sunshine as I walked by.
New leaves have completely unfolded on branches of native oaks. A few Lupine have bloomed, and miners' lettuce is already growing in shady spots under trees. Each solitary blade of grass standing tall and proud is a miracle born of tiny seeds from beneath the soil. And cheerful daffodils are now beginning to lift their faces toward the sun.
Last week it was snowing flower petals from our tree in the backyard. These snowflakes are not the melting kind. Instead, they skip across the road, twirl on the breeze, blanket the porches and rest in our cats' food and water dishes.
My personality seems to change with each new season.
After months surrounded by hills of drab brown, my senses are alive once again. While I do enjoy staying warm and cozy inside as temperatures dip below freezing outside, spring is the time for celebrating nature's revival.
Spring is also a time for special events in towns across the Sierra Nevada.
The historic Columbia State Park will welcome visitors to its Victorian Easter Celebration on Sunday. Egg hunts for children of various ages are scheduled through the early afternoon hours, beginning at noon. Find the golden egg and win a prize. Thaddeus E. Hare, aka the Easter Bunny, has promised to arrive with a bundle of fresh carrots to share with the kids.
Dress in your finest Victorian Easter costume and join the parade on Main Street. Prizes go to the best dressed couple, best dressed girl, boy, groups and pets, and for the fanciest Victorian hat. Registration starts at 11 a.m. at the Fallon Hotel. The parade is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.
Columbia lies just off Highway 49, past Jamestown and Sonora. The streets are lined with unique shops and old-time restaurants. This Gold Rush-era town is in operation and open all year, except for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Details may be found at www.visitcolumbiacalifornia.com.
Mariposa Symphony Orchestra recently announced their annual Young Masters Composers Celebration for 2013. In a challenge by its founder and director, Les Marsden, Mariposa County residents aged 8 to 18 have the opportunity to write their own piece of classical music. This year's requirement is to write a very short and original story to accompany the music, much like Aaron Copland did with "A Lincoln Portrait."
Winners are chosen in three age categories, each receiving a $50 cash gift. In addition, the winning compositions will be orchestrated by Marsden and performed by the MSO at the Independence Day Spectacular concert.
Entry forms with full guidelines are available at the Mariposa County Arts Council office on the top floor of Chocolate Soup, 5009 Highway 140. Forms may also be downloaded at www.mariposaartscouncil.org/young-masters. For more information, call (209) 966-3155. The entry deadline is May 17.
I have one last note with corrections regarding the Gold Rush Dinner and Dance mentioned in last week's column: Nancy Bell made approximately 38 cheesecakes; Nanci MacArthur is the Soroptimists' local president and Patricia Donohue is the Sierra Pacific Regional president. My apologies to the Mariposa Soroptimists, and my thanks for all they do to benefit our community.
Debbie Croft writes about life in the foothill communities. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.