A Trail Lined With Shy Maidens

Tiny lilac colored violets line this trail. Each turns it face downward as if afraid of the rain. Carefully lifting one flower to face me, I see the delicate beauty we expect from Alaska wildflowers. “Look up and show off for soon you will be making seeds while insects use your leaves for folder.”

Aki doesn’t care about these shy maidens. She is here to harvest the rich smells of this forest and the creek draining it.

In a few weeks salmon will battle for space on the spawning redds. Bears, eagles and ravens will follow to fatten on fish flesh and eggs. If I return then it will be with a fly rod, not Aki. Today’s hike is about the forest and its plants — a feast of subtle colors and shapes with the running river sound for accompaniment. Simple  things draw my eye like these rain drops standing up on the leaves of a wild cucumber. I measure the berry and current crops and plan a return trip in late summer for harvest. So rich in food this place of simple greens and browns that make a star of even the shy violet.

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