Aspen Ridge Ranch is located at 4,900 feet so winters can be extreme. The average snow depth is about 4 feet.
Often the snow doesn't melt until late April. As it does the river rises a foot or two and the slumbering trout begin to stir.
Wildlife in the Yamsi Valley abounds. As hibernating animals begin to show their faces I know that Spring is just around the corner. Having lived as an integral part of nature for over a decade now I have learned to read the land and know the seasons by paying close attention to my wild neighbors.
When the pronghorn antelope return to Aspen Ridge and Mule deer become more plentiful than elk, I know that the snows up high are melting, swelling the river and inviting multitudes of hungry fish.
Geese, ducks and Tundra swans winter over in the Yamsi Valley. I've learned that when the Tundra swans grow restless that I can expect warmer and warmer days to come.
Finally the swans head north leaving only sunshine behind.