Transforming Light

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This still cold morning Fish Creek drains a forest of light. Aki and I walk up stream past where the salmon spawn in August, under eagle roosts, beyond where I watched a bear rush deep into the woods while the little dog sniffed at its abandoned supper.   It is too early in the season for salmon or even to expect this strong light to warm the skin. There is a bear and at least one deer around. The deer left tracks across a gravel bar near where a bear cropped off the tops of emerging skunk cabbage plants.

L1200545Lost in shadow, the wounded skunk cabbage offer little beauty but everything touched by light has it in abundance. A wrist thick stick, too far gone with rot to have bark, glows like polished alabaster but its the green things, moss and hemlock needles, that have me raising the camera again and again. It’s strange but while all this backlit beauty excites it doesn’t warm my hands or face. I am not used to being so underdressed in an art museum, even one as transient as the Fish Creek forest in April. In hours all will be in shadow. Tomorrow it will rain to enrich the greens, soften the browns, and ramp up the volume of the awaking stream.

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