Family Outings



P1010662It may be past Mid-Summer in Alaska’s biggest town, but along Anchorage’s Bike paths I see evidence of spring. Flowers bloom. Last night a moose calf and her twin long-legged babies blocked the Chester Creek path. In a corny, but beautiful move, a shaft of late evening sun brought all the gold out in the twins’ wet fur as they followed their mom up the trail. The moose trapped a young jogger against bordering birch trees. Although she could easily have been trampled by the skittish mother, the jogger, dressed in shorts and a tie-dye tee shirt, held her ground until the trio broke into the woods. We exchanged survivor smiles after the moose left the trail.

P1010664This morning it was birds—a family of Canada geese, two adults and three kids, who enjoyed a quiet meal along Campbell Creek. I wasn’t surprised. Canada geese are as common as Eton Swans in Anchorage. I dodged piles of their scat while biking to the geese picnic spot from the university. I also found two perfect geese wing feathers lying on the grass like careless lovers; each a weightless miracle that once helped to lift an adult bird over Cook Inlet. I took them, officially to save them from the lawn mover that would have chopped them in pieces if I didn’t find them a safe home. Tonight they rest on the desk in my otherwise unadorned dorm room. I can feel the tension of the tightly packed segments along each white, hollow shaft; count their many shades of brown.P1010657

After the geese, I pedaled to Campbell Lake and watched a reflection of a single gull under the clouded sun and wondered how it exceeds the beauty of the things that cast it.

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