Better in Black and White

RiverAki must be getting used to gunshots. She trots down the trail toward booms that grow louder as we near the moraine lake. Most sound like they were fired by shotguns pointed up at passing ducks. A few had that lingering echo of a gun discharged over water.

ice bergThe shots stop a few minutes before we reach the lake where the wakes of three Bufflehead ducks move toward its center. A newly stripped log bobs on the lake like a corpse—the remains of a beaver’s meal eaten in last night’s fog.

pondWe head toward the Mendenhall River, thankful that the guns are gone and there is no rain. Aki leads me over to a beaver pond that has captured the top of Mt. Stroller White. If Aki and I could walk on water, the pond would be an avenue to Mendenhall Lake. We can’t, so we continue down a muddy trail to the river. Fog moves with surprising speed through the riverside forest, hiding, then revealing the glacier and surrounding mountains. I wish I had my old Nikon loaded with Pan X and the patience I once used to take analog black and white photos. It’s all here for a master like Ansel Adams—the hard and soft textures, shades of white, black and gray; rock-river-ice.eagle

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