Rich Light Fresh Snow

The morning breaks clear after a night that brought five more inches of dry snow. I’m shoveling out the driveway when the first light reaches chicken ridge. With a sun soaked Mt. Juneau as backdrop the rich highlights on the snow whitened trees are too rich to ignore. Dropping the shovel I dash into the house for Cumming’s camera — the big Panasonic with a Leica lens. Each resulting click of the shutter is like a bite of good chocolate. Instead of promising to cut back I pledge not to spare the delete key.  Am I a binge and purge photographer?

After spending 2 minutes trying to photograph the highlights on the snow shovel I load Aki and the big Panasonic into the car and head for the North Douglas trail system. Last night’s high tide stripped much of the False Outer Point beach of snow so we start there. Aki charges in leaps down the trail to reach the beach well before me.  We stand in the shade and watch the low angled light from behind us catch the front of waves and light up the backs of harlequin ducks rafted up just off shore. Above them we see the channel, spruce covered islands and the glacier flowing through its Mendenhall Towers

Moving around the point we pass under two eagles warming themselves in the fresh sunlight. I find the olive green birth sack of a shark around the corner and carry it to a sunny place to appreciate its amber highlights and pleasing shape. A more animated eagle calls out so we move into the forest where there are more rich displays of sunlit new snow.

We return to the car on little used trails and are rewarded with flying squirrel tracks. The last half mile is on an unplowed road where Aki dives and rolls in the new snow.  She disappears when we reach the car and I find her back on the beach trail, apparently wanting to do it all again.



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