The forest, this gray morning, reminds me of an actor awoken too early by noisy neighbors. The neighbors, clouds and clouds of pine siskins, never stop their shick-shick song. The forest, almost monochrome in the flat light, looks sleepy, maybe even grumpy. Sunlight breaks through the marine layer when we leave the woods for meadows drained by the Eagle River. Small groups of Canada geese, their honks blocking out the siskin’s song, stir in the yellow meadow grass. The geese fly off when we are still hundreds of meters away, heading toward the white Chilkat Range before landing on the river’s opposite side.
We spook a flock of American robins, which settle in a small alder. It is too early for them to sing their love songs but their presence en mass is an incontrovertible proof of spring’s arrival. Another proof is just across the river. A collection of white fronted geese take a break from migration on a sand bar. Some stand on one leg while one is sprawled, neck extended and wings stretched out to its sides on the sand.
Aki doesn’t chase a clutch of Canada geese that we stumble upon just before returning to the forest. They walk slowly across the trail, honking in a frustrated tone. The little dog just watches them take flight. God dog.
If the forest were an actor, he must have done his toilet, had his coffee and cigarette, read favorable reviews because the place thrives in morning light. Shafts of it enhance the electric green color of ground moss and make the forest’s watercourses sparkle. He had better savor the moment like a seasoned veteran. Wind driven rain will be raking him this afternoon.