One bridge connects Douglas Island to the town of Juneau. Aki and I stand on it, looking down on a life-sized bronze sculpture of a humpback whale. It’s bolted to a cement slab in the city’s construction yard. As Aki fidgets, I struggle to frame a photo of the whale that won’t feature stacks of scaffolding or a truck-mounted crane. Some day, the whale will breach from the center of an infinity pool nestled in a landscaped park. Tourists will walk the mile or so from their cruise ships to see the whale. But now, only trespassers on city property may close on it.
The whale looks beautiful, which is not surprising on this bright day, the kind you’d expect in sun-blessed places like Albuquerque but not in a rain forest town. The strong sun makes vivid the colors of plants in the throws of autumn die-back. Even the truck-mounted crane has some beauty.
I start taking pictures of Aki and my shadows until the little dog parks herself on top of mine. Is she seeking comfort, shade or control? I wonder before she breaks for squirrel.