I can’t believe myself taking more pictures of these two humungous beaver lodges. They draw me to this small stream draining the edge of a great meadow. We could be out on the flat expanse of white snow with its texture perfect for skiing—firm top layer of corn snow that allows one ski to slide while the other grips in anticipation of its chance to shoot ahead. Each beaver lodge rise above our heads, collections of gnawed branches formed into an almost perfect domes.
A beaver dam connected the two dens during our last visit. Today the stream runs through unimpeded and I suspect the hand of man. This may explain the new construction site down near the old river otter slide where a dam almost spans the creek.
We have full sun shinning from a cloudless ski. It would be too hot if not for the breeze coming at us from the North. Out on Lynn canal this wind forms horses out of the flat fjord waters. Here it merely speeds the melting of snow and keeps it cool enough for us to ski in comfort.
With much of the world’s weather turning fickle, if not violent, I have no confidence in predicting whether winter has move north to wait out the threatening warmth of Midsummer. We woke just two mornings ago to four inches of new snow. Today green shoots of gray push up through the meadow snow and widening bare patches threaten to cut off large portions of the meadow from our skis. I think of the berries beneath their dwindling blanket of snow and the kayak waiting for me in the storage unit. I think of the Candle Fish that even now might be charging up the nearby Antler River to spawn even while chased by hungry sea lions, whales, and clouds of birds. Time to gather the gear of summer.