While watching Aki’s exuberant dash about this snowy meadow I wonder at how little we understand each other. She reads smells; I English. Still she has trained me to take her to these white open spaces with repeated displays of apparent happiness—-leaps that end in a shoulder plant leading to a long surface slide then the burying of her doggy face in the snow. This always brings a smile to my human face.
Today I look for signs of the resurrection that is spring; she for clues left by those who have gone before. She has better chance of success. Fog still softens the near horizon of the Peterson Salt Chuck leaving me with a view of snow retreating from brown dead grass lands. The snow, which with its brother ice brought on the near death of autumn, now takes away the only clues of light and life on it retreat from the sky’s new warmth. Nothing here speaks of Easter, a holiday scheduled too early in the year for Northern places.
We are not alone. There are Canada Geese feeding along a salt chuck edge just exposed by melting ice. They hold their ground apparently aware that we cannot cross the crumbing barrier of ice between them and us. We hear their grumbling long after passing out of their view.
Islands of good sized spruce trees dot the meadow, each offering bare firm ground on which to walk, a welcome relief from the softening meadow snow. Most hold their health but the bark of one tree has almost been removed by porcupines. (An unfortunately tasty victim or willing sacrifice?). Just past this island Aki dashes ahead. A small dark thing moves across my path at incredible speed. Was this blur a Pine Martin or an evil spirit flushed from sleep by snow melt? Aki puts me at ease on her return, dashing along the same route of the dark presence. Although sometimes she appears to see ghosts, her actions here are those of a dog following freshly laid scent.