If Aki knew the word’s meaning, she might have considered my targeting of this mountain meadow counterintuitive. For the first time in days, sunshine reached Chicken Ridge where we sleep and store Aki’s kibble. From the house, I could see sun hammering a meadow we often visit. Instead I drove us here, where clouds still grayed the light.
Like any dog, Aki likes to laze in the sun, but since clouds don’t dampen scent she happily patrols the trail, snout to the ground, tail raised. She ignores the water bugs that use surface tension to skate over little ponds, making bursting runs between lily pads and stalks of British tobacco. Because another dog did it before her, she pees on the splayed out skunk cabbage plants, doesn’t think twice about the rich yellows and browns that have replace the richer greens of spring as the plant’s roots suck back summer nutrients. The dog pays no attention to the cloud fragments pulled by an invisible form off the meadow and up the sides of forested hills as if they were children reluctant to leave a playground.
You see little dog, the rising clouds are the clue. They promise fractures of blue in the gray sky and maybe shafts of light to startle the water bugs and enrich the growing patches of fall color that surround pond and watercourses.