The sun left us a few days ago, after I finished eating blueberries along the Eagle River. Rain dominated Juneau since. With a promise of sun after this sorrow Aki and head take an early departure for the moraine. Low clouds begin lifting when we arrive and find every tree, bush, and flower carrying a heavy burden of rain water.
Aki charges alone into the trail side woods to run after a squirrel over mossy ground and then bursts onto the trail ten feet in front of me. Apparently assuming that I didn’t wait for her return, she charges at full speed down the trail. When I whistle she stops on a dime and races back toward me. A few feet before reaching my feet she breaks back into the woods for a quick lap through the moss and then heads back to the car. Another whistle brings a dog panting with happiness to my side. Such a drama queen.
Life in a rain forest gives us a chance to be present for the moments when sudden sun light drives away the storm. Then the water drops that just minutes before depressed the forest’s beauty become vibrant bags of light. Shafts break through the dying cover of grey to paint lakes in silver. Today, this is our morning.
Wanting to catch the beaver lands before the new sun brings wind to ripple the lakes, I lead Aki over the beaver dam bridge to the trail that circles Norton Lake. Aki cringes when we hear a series of slaps of a beaver tail. I find this a bit odd as she only showed fascination when we watched a beaver perform a series of tail slaps in the past. I listen for something scary but only hear the slaps and the boom of high caliber rifles of the early bird shooters at the gun range.
We watch a Greater Yellowlegs (Sandpiper) approach the water’s edge to stare at the water. He is only searching for food but appears to be admiring his reflection in the still calm pond. Overhead a trio of tourist filled helicopters fly overhead on the way to the sled dog camp on a nearby glacier. They fly over the beavers’ lands all summer without bothering the sandpiper or the beavers or even the bears who left so much scat on this trail. They live and apparently thrive in a pocket of wilderness surrounded by our suburbs and the agents of industrial tourism. Aki and I are the only ones to mind the noise.