Conjuring Witches, Sculptured Ice, and a Stubborn Dog

P1120604Aki and I stayed in the neighborhood this morning: swinging past the craftsmen style houses on Basin Road to the gravel road above Gold Creek, then returning on the Flume Trail. Flanked by Juneau and Maria mountains, the Gold Creek canyon and the Flume Trail are almost always in shade. They were this morning, even though full sun lit the mountains and Chicken Ridge.  Silhouetted by the sunny snow fields of Mt. Juneau, the strong, but twisted limbs of cottonwood trees reached up the canyon like conjuring witches. P1120624

Without clouds to trap ground heat, the temperature in the Gold Creek drainage dropped last night but not enough to stop the flow of creeks. Water splashing on to stream side creeks or overhanging branches does freeze. Overtime it forms thick layers of opaque ice over sticks and branches. I took pictures of the resulting ice sculptures while Aki sulked along.

P1120628Halfway down the flume she threw on the brakes where a trail dropped down to Gold Creek. This offered a shortcut to home, but also to Cope Park where she can usually find a dog to play with. I walked on, drawn to where sunlight was striking the trail and icicles hanging down from the flume. Patience, she waited for me to backtrack to her. Not being Barbara Woodhouse or even the dog whisperer, I took the shortcut to the park. (I wonder if Aki is a people whisperer.)P1120627


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