It’s good to be back in Alaska, reunited with Aki after a trip to Washington D.C. and the UK. Taking advantage of jet lag, I take the little dog on an early morning walk over the moraine to the troll woods. It rained most of the night but now sun enriches the green of newly unfurled poplar leaves, which perfume the air with their balsam.
We are here before the daily startup of Juneau’s industrial tourism machines so no helicopters fly. No buses roar along the edge of the moraine. Only thrush song brakes the silence until reach a lake owned by two beavers. Aki, who fell through the ice covering this lake during an ill advised attempt to visit them one spring, whines as she watches a beaver approach. The beaver spots her and then slowly swims toward the little dog. I watch for several minutes as the beaver swims to within 40 feet, slaps the water with its tail, then continues its approach. It tail slaps the water again when much closer and then disappears.