I used to think that fall was my favorite time of year, but I've come to realize that it's the in-between times that are most exciting for me, when the coming season pushes its way through the remnants of the old. The first yellow leaf in a green aspen forest; snow on mountaintops while valleys are still awash with color; an unexpected hot day in March - all have me grabbing my easel in an eager attempt to catch these elusive times of year. Of all the transitions, winter-to-spring is the most exciting. It's the quickening of the earth as the first signs of new life make themselves known. Migratory birds head south as new grass pushes through thinning snowfields and rivers flood their banks. It's a time of change when the earth says goodbye to winter and turns to face the warmth of spring.