Last week--no, make that last, last week--I was in Park City, Utah for five days, not shovelling snow--there's not been much precipitation in Utah this winter, any more than in California. I went for walks on the high desert hillsides near my daughter's home, hoping I might bump into a moose, but settling for scrub oak and sagebrush. The sagebrush is dusty grey-blue, the scrub oak still leafless, spiky, rough-barked and covered with orange lichen. It's only slightly taller than my head (I'm 5'6) when I'm walking and you wouldn't think it would provide cover for a moose, but it does, so I was keeping my eye on my daughter's two black labs when they darted off into the thickets. But no moose, only other dogs and humans running, walking, on dirt bikes. The sky was that incredibly solid blue that my mother always used to refer to as 'prairie sky' as she looked with some disdain at our west coast cloud cover, up in Vancouver.