I see this mountain valley every morning. Now it is filled with fog. Aki and head out to find out what hides beneath. After climbing up a gravel trail busted through the forest by a snow machine club, the little dog and I walked along the Treadwell Ditch, busted through the same forest a hundred years ago by Chinese immigrants to bring water to the Treadwell mines. We pass by the usual forest characters—shy maiden flowers, skunk cabbages, sorrel, and delicate blossoms that will soon set famine berries.
When the trail leads us onto an open meadow, we get into mountain flowers—shooting stars, wild rhodendrens, and the remains of bog rosemary. In the flat light, the shooting stars have a violet cast. A Sitka blacktail deer breaks from cover to dash across the meadow to the safety of the bordering old growth forest.