Winter in Autumn

Today we get a taste of winter between autumn storms. No sun reaches us on the North side of Douglas Island even though it is after nine in the morning.  With the temperature in the 20’s Aki and I move rapidly through the woods for warmth.

The temperature drop gave forest moss a crunchy texture and formed a thick ice skim on the forest ponds. Those plants still sporting green look like overdressed fools in a hardware store. Their practical neighbors already wear their winter gear.

Nearing the beach we see Shaman Island through a screen of trees. The sun shines there but not on the beach.  Looking from this dark place over water to the light flooded island, I feel like a witness at the universe’s birth.  The low angle light of dawn reveals so much truth—-the grain in the island’s cliff, the number of each tree and bush. Clarity fades as the sun climbs and an Alaska Ferry moves past Shelter Island on its way to Haines. In between a lone sea lion breaks the surface of Lynn Canal.

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