I went looking for skunk cabbage in a small stream near my home. I didn’t find any. I walked back to my house stopping for a moment to enjoy the sounds around me.

The wind whooshed through the trees. I could feel the cold. I noticed the empty playground. My kids used to play here when they were much younger. I waited for the sun to peek through the clouds to provide some shadow and contrast. I stood still for five minutes being present to everything that surrounded my senses.

I was feeling stir crazy. I have not been outside the house since Wednesday. I bundled up and took a walk over to the stream in the forest behind the playground near my home. In the past, I had seen skunk cabbage, an indicator that spring has sprung, growing here.

The air was cold and crisp, and a steady breeze blew against my exposed cheeks. The path to the stream leads behind the tennis courts to an open grassy area with a volleyball net. The grass was soggy wet, but I made my way through to the muddy area under the trees. There were lots of small dead branches across the swampy area under the trees.

I made my way down to the stream. No ice. Usually, the side of the stream would be lined with ferns and skunk cabbage growing in dense clusters. Not today. Not yet.

I am in drinking Radler by Trader Joe’s (JosephsBrau), a Micro Brewery in San Jose. Radler is an Shandy / Radler, with an ABV of 4 and IBU of 9. I gave this beer a 3.75 on Untappd’s 5 point rating system.

BREWER’S NOTES

Radler is a refreshing and crisp combination of beer and lemon juice and natural flavors. The beer is brewed with hallertau hops, 90% pilsner malt, 5% Munich malt and 5% carahell. Additional ingredients: sugar, lemon juice from concentrate. Stats: 4% alcohol by volume and 9 bittering units.