Thistle in the creek

Thistle LOVES running through the creek–I suspect this is her tonic.

It’s finally spring in the mountains of Western North Carolina. We had a mild winter, but it just wouldn’t go away. At long last we had a lovely weekend with highs near 70 and lots of sunshine. The kind of weather I wouldn’t mind having ninety percent of the time.
Now it’s true that I take Thistle hiking in all sorts of weather. I’ve even slogged through the woods carrying an umbrella. (You have to watch the angle when passing through the rhododendron tunnels.) But THIS is the kind of weather that transforms a hike into a spring tonic.
My great-grandmother would send Dad out to gather young mullein leaves each spring (it’s still a bit early for them here) when he was a boy. She dried them in the oven, then crumbled them. She smoked two pipes full–that was her spring tonic. I don’t know if she enjoyed it, or if it was more of a medicine, but it supposedly perked her up.
I think most of us are in need of a spring tonic now and again. The idea is to invigorate and energize the body and soul–get the sap rising, so to speak. For me, a long walk in the woods on a gorgeous day with a little grey dog bounding joyfully ahead and a steadfast husband by my side is a most excellent tonic.
So how about you? What’s your spring tonic?