I tell myself to remember the way the pebbles, frozen together by last might’s freeze, slowly give way beneath my boots. Otherwise the memory of the sensation will disappear under the deluge of Technicolor images I see every time I look out to sea.
Aki and I walk toward Camping Cove over sunny beaches and through dappled, forested headlands. Inshore barrier islands, thick with old growth spruce and hemlock trees, frame views of Lynn Canal and the snow covered Chilkat Mountains.
Aki flushes a grouse, her first. I watch it fly into a snag where it seems to disappear into the rough bark. Later we will hear the slow hammering sound of a woodpecker. More surprising, I hear the long tones of a varied thrush. The thrush song, heard on a sunny day, while standing on bare trail, might be the final confirmation of winter’s end. The bird might have been fooled by the swelling leaf buds on spring-green blue berry brush. We might have more ice and snow. Winter can’t be over. There is still more three weeks before the spring equinox.