I remember a shopping trip to Target about two months ago when we were stocking up on toilet paper. I grabbed one of those giant 24 packs but hesitated before putting it back on the shelf in favor of a 12-pack. I reasoned that would be plenty for the immediate future.
Some people say if they had a time machine, they’d travel back in time to kill Hitler or prevent JFK’s assassination. My goal would be far less lofty: I’d just like to tell my Past Self to go ahead and throw that 24-pack of TP in the shopping cart.
Friday was a splendid spring day, and I ventured forth from the house for the first time in 72 hours. Had some errands to run; I’d ordered a couple of records from Black Hills Vinyl, and Jennifer—the owner, whom Tara and I have befriended—opened up the store for the first time in two weeks. She was only allowing one customer in at a time and made me put on a pair of latex gloves immediately upon entering. It’s very important to me that her store survives, because I can’t imagine not having a neighborhood record shop from which we can procure vinyl to add to our collection. The second stop was a liquor store, where I found a four-pack of Fernson Peach Pie Sour ale. Score! But my third stop was my favorite.
I’m fortunate enough to live within walking distance of Skyline Wilderness Area, a sprawling hilltop network of hiking trails with incredible views of the Black Hills to the west and the prairie to the east. Last spring, I discovered the park is home to an abundance of pasqueflowers. Also known as prairie crocus, Easter flower, meadow anemone, etc. They’re the South Dakota state flower and beautifully unique.
I brought along my Nikon and really made an effort to seek out some good shots, scrambling over loose soil and rocks and lying down on my stomach to get up close and personal with these guys. I suffer for my art!
Totally worth the off-trail scrambling. Pasqueflowers are one of my favorite uniquely South Dakota things ever. They’re only in bloom for about a month, so I savor their appearance every year as a true harbinger of spring.
I only hope they are hardy enough to survive snow, because we’re about to get a lot of it.
More than a few people have asked me whether snow so late in the year is unusual. It actually isn’t; March and April are traditionally Rapid City’s snowiest months. Granted, a foot of snow in the middle of the month is on the high side, especially after we got 9″ last week. We’re closing in on our all-time snowiest “winter” ever, and this storm could put us over the top.
We were going to go for a drive today, and it’s not too bad currently…41º with a little light rain and mist…but heavy snow is expected to hit by late afternoon, so we’re staying put. It’s going to be a chill day, movies and cards/records/pizza later. Tomorrow, we might head out to either the Badlands or the Black Hills. Should be quite scenic.
We don’t really celebrate Easter, so we’re just planning on making a big pot of chicken corn chowder. Should be the perfect way to take off the
winter April chill.