I’ve never known this meadow to carry such a snow load.  The recent storms spread a white layer three feet thick over the muskeg. Tight white runs of snow line the tops of the spindly bull pine branches giving them a respectable mass. We follow a trail once beat down by other snowshoers.  Snow from last night’s storm partially obscures it but there are three of us with snowshoes to pack it down again until it becomes a two deep canyon cutting across the meadow.

Aki sprints up and down the trough from me to the friends breaking trail and then back. While her people stand tall enough to see the mountain peaks of Gasteneau Channel dominating the compass points,  Aki, only sees snow and snowshoes. We expect little sunlight this close to the solstice but some manages to reach high up Mts. Juneau and Roberts before fog moves in to obscure it. For a short while we feast richly on lights and darks—-snow transformed trees beneath walls of white capped with grey clouds slashed by blue.

I won’t speculate on how Aki values her transit of the long two foot deep trench but its all beauty from where I am standing. There is also wonder when I find small assemblages of snow flakes dangling from a bull pine branch on spider web strands. They hang where no spider prey could venture now.  It makes me believe that the story of Wilbur and Charlotte could be true.

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