Faint Tugs from DNA

P1140385I’ll be in Anchorage at writing school the next couple of weeks so this is my last trek with Aki for a bit. We walk along lower Fish Creek to the pond circled by a thin line of fisherman. Using large treble hooks, they try to snag king salmon now going to rot in the pond. The men ignore us, concentrate instead on the bass notes made by 20 pound salmon as they crash into the surface of the pond.

P1140391Fishermen and fish are both driven here by DNA. For the men, a deep need to hunt and harvest, feed their families, drove them from their beds. The fish seek only to reproduce but can’t make it up the shallow creek to their spawning beds until it is swollen by August rains. Genetics might also be behind Aki and my moves this morning. She seeks promising scents, I satisfy my inter-caveman with a camera rather than gun.

P1140378The tide is out so the place smells of death and new life—-the stink of spent salmon and exposed tidal mud is almost overpowered by the sweetness of just opened wild rose buds.

P1140406Eagles and crows hunt carrion on the tide flats. I look for a way to capture the gold-yellow beauty of a seaweed carpet exposed before the glacier by the ebb tide. Four foot hight stalks of fireweed stand before me and the tidelands, the bottom rungs of their ladders of magenta blooms already in full flower. The layers will blossom one after the other until all the flowers transform into seed down that will float away at the end of summer.

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