Aki would have loved this sun soaked meadow of snow. She might have shown concern or distain when I broke through a snow bridge and plunged into a foot deep stream. I am glad she missed that part. It is enough that I must ski all the way to the car with one very wet foot.
The taste of spring hangs in the air over Amalga Meadows. One big rain storm will push it into spring. Now mud and snow fight it out for the high ground while watercourse ice rots to liquid. Even now a long tongue of open water reaches halfway across the salt chuck. Pushing past the stream of my rude baptism and deeper into the meadow, I find only silence. Expecting the chatter of chickadees I only hear melting snow drops hitting gentling moving water. It pleases rather than disappoints.
Later I ski over over a little hill to a pocket beach to test a theory. Without Aki will the ducks and birds relax around me? No. A small gang of mergansers relaxing on the beach re-enter the water when I am still in the woods and paddle to the middle of the bay. They leave me with a woodpecker pounding out food from a beach side spruce. Without seal lions or seals to keep them pinned to the beach the mergansers form an raft with a mix group other of ducks. Their muttering mixes with the sound of the woodpecker’s impact drill and periodic splashing by something I can’t make out. A photograph shows something like a duck doing the iron cross. I’s guessing cormorant.