Today Aki and I visit an old friend — the moraine trail. Sunlight melts the remaining snow and rouses mosquitos. Soon these pests will close the more interesting sections of this ground where lightly traveled paths cross thick blankets of moss and skirt pot hole lakes. From such a path I spot a pair of Mallard ducks quietly feeding a few feet away. Aki, exploring ground recently mined for roots by a bear never sees the birds. They glide out of sight, every detail of the drake’s beauty emboldened by early morning light. Even the hen’s subtle coat of gray and brown draws a second glance.
Being so close to the glacier, this ground recovers slowly from winter. The animals of summer must wait patiently for the bust out of spring. Things are changing. The manic chittery bird sounds of winter harvesters has been replaced with long sweet love songs.
When a bright yellow warbler lands near us on a still bare willow I know summer is near and silently urge these willows and alders to get on with it. Minutes later we reach the little wooden bridge that crosses a long thin pond. Each year meadow grass claims more and more of the pond. In my life time it will disappear but for now there is enough water to surround a handful of small glacier erratics that have spaced themselves like a chain of islands in the pond. I can’t explain the draw of the scene other than that it calms me like views of a Japanese rock garden. Behind a mountain blocks half the sky. With a ten minute walk I could have a world class view the glacier. We return to the moss covered forest path as I carry the image of rocks reflecting in a dying pond back to the car.