Mind the Gap

P1130538With the sun just skimming along Thunder Mountain, only portions of the Troll Woods receive today’s sunlight. Aki and I walk from dusk to light and back to dusk. A being that follows her nose rather than her eyes, the little dog shows no preference for the frosty gray of shadows or the sparkling white of sunlit woods.

P1130510The temperature hovers near 15 degrees fahrenheit so the sun offers little warmth for Aki. It can’t melt the frost feathers covering alder and diminutive spruce trees.

P1130513Thanks to the extended cold snap we are free to walk across lakes and invade the  beaver’s flooded forests. It’s a bit risky, since the beavers nibble out trails beneath the surface of their pond ice to maintain access between their food and den. On the Kuskokwim, elders warned us not to walk over frozen beaver ponds without being prepared to break through the ice. I approach each beaver dam with caution. Behind one, a world of bark-less sticks, alder leaves, and submerged tree branches  exists, frozen in time and ice.  Behind the big dam near the beaver village, we find an irregular shaped hole in the ice—looking like the street exit of a London Underground station. The beaver’s Oxford Circus. P1130546


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