I looked for the narrowest point in the gorge and took up position behind a rock. I chose well for once: I had head wind, and the course of the brook, just a dozen yards below, was the only possible way of escape. I drank water from my canteen, loaded my shotgun and waited. Shortly after, I heard the signal coming from the other end of the ravine. I adjusted the sight, went down on one knee and aimed at the brook. Then I realized: the whole surface of it was carpeted with buttercups in bloom. There was not a drop of water to be seen. Just flowers. A stream of flowers. Springtime, I thought, and right then I heard it squelch around the first bend. I took off the safety catch and breathed deeply. The steel of the trigger was hot from the sun. Blood was beating in my temples. Springtime.