|"Troublesome Creek" Colored Pencil|
After a storm blankets Noble Meadow with fresh snow, Troublesome Creek is swollen with spring runoff. Normally this gulch is parched but now the proud, little creek rushes down into Buchanan Ponds. The diffused light neutralizes the colors but this time of year even the snowy landscape can be expressed with warm hues.
In March we get milder temperatures but more extreme snowfall amounts. The snow seems to come every day and the wind screams down through this draw making it an inhospitable place. A person can get the local weather forecast by gazing up into Squaw Pass. If Squaw Mountain gradually disappears into dense clouds that is a sure sign moisture is on the way.
This unassuming meadow is teeming with wildlife. Some of the more notable, local inhabitants include Elk, Mule Deer, Yellow-Bellied Marmot, American Kestrel, Great Horned Owl and Garter Snake. Near the ponds I've seen a Turkey Vulture, Canada Geese, Mallard Ducks, Swallows, Turtles, Frogs and Crayfish.
The compelling drama between predator and prey is less conspicuous but action packed. Within this vibrant ecosystem, I've watched a Great Blue Heron fish for trout with it's spear-like beak. I've seen a Red-Tailed Hawk swoop down and snatch a gopher with it's lethal talons and I've watched a Coyote hunt for field mice by pouncing through the snow.