Hays Winter Fragrance


We were well above the forest now, and on the broad slopes of the mountain. Great winds of winter had swept the snow from ledges and silted it into gullies ; and there was something intensely clean and smooth and large, away from men and their ways, in that white landscape.
We stood 2,000 feet or more above the valley, in regions well nigh untrodden; and here a light wind blew across the snow-fields full of the scent of summer hay, for the chalet doors were open wide, and some men were working amongst the hay like moles where the great white tracts of virgin snow were humped up on the edge of the hill, and three chalets nestled all buried to their roofs in drift. The men had dug a narrow track to the doors, which are formed of boards placed lengthways and easily removed. These were pulled away and a wealth of withered flowers and grasses lay within in heaps upon the floors. The pent-up scent of all these summer flowers rushed out upon the winter air, and burdened it with aromatic fragrance.