The Return of Good Snow

The real snow has returned in clouds from the Gulf of Alaska. This is the snow of promise not like the stuff that snaked just above the surface of 7th Street this morning. That could have been ripped from Mr. Juneau by the yesterday’s Taku winds.

The new snow hide patches of ice on the Rain Forest Trail so I watch Aki’s footsteps for places where even she lost traction. This works until she breaks into the woods after a red squirrel. We have time and soon she is back on point. I stop often anyway to look into the old growth forest that lines the trail. The new whiteness on spruce and hemlock needles emphasizes each tree as an individual.  Now I can see the lines they have formed like soldiers going into battle, perhaps against the pounding surf a narrow beach width away.

Snow covers all on the beach except that recently uncovered by the ebbing tide. In minutes even that whitens. Beautifully formed waves hit exposed glacier erratics, sending up spectacular spray. It is a rare sight on the shores of this fjord where we expect only the gentle rise and fall of tide.

An eagle cry drives us back into the forest. This is their time of famine and already neighborhood cats are disappearing into eagle nests. Aki could be next.

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