The battle has begun. Winter struck last weekend, driving temperatures low enough to cover Mendenhall Lake with ice and whiten the evergreen forests with fresh snow. Fall fought back yesterday with southern wind and rain that melted the snow cover. Aki must root for winter. She rarely shows much enthusiasm for walks in the cold rain but she enjoyed winter’s short visit.
I wonder what fall fights for, now that the forest colors have mostly faded to brown. Shapes? We found many graceful ones on this mornings old growth walk to the beach. My favorites were formed by spruce and hemlock roots, distorted into wrapping curves when their nursery logs rotted from beneath them. The absence of snow allowed us to find a small pile of mammal bones—multifaceted knuckles and a digit damaged by a scavenger. I thought of Henry Moore’s sculptures and the sea lion carcass pushed high up the beach years ago by an autumn tide. Were the found bones all that remained of his presence?