In heavy rain, Aki and hide out on a trail through the old growth that leads to a beach diminished by high tide. A thick, low cloud layer almost eliminates the view of Lynn Canal. It is a good day to study small wonders, like tree lichen, so I watch stands of old man’s beard swing like lazy ghosts from bare blue berry brush. I happen on columns of frilly angel wings that climb the trunk of a dying hemlock tree and named then “angels of death.” (It is not an uplifting day). Then I realize that last week I had found one of the winged lichen, moist and flattened in a clump of seaweed. I took it for some tide pool creature but with the help of a passing hiker worked out that it was once attached to a tree. What is it about making connections, even unintended, that can brighten a gray day of rain?lichen

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