According to the calendar, winter started yesterday but it is spring in this beachside forest. It’s not a Wordsworth spring with its daffodil icons or even a Southeast Alaska spring marked by rising crocuses. This feels like a true northern spring when a hard nightly freeze follows each day of thaw. Like it would during an arctic spring, our snow pack has shrunken to an ice-crusted carpet that makes walking treacherous, even for Aki with her sharp nails.
The little dog and I walk in darkness but sunlight explodes off the mountains. Shaman and the other islands dotting Lynn Canal seem to be sun bathing. But there are few animals to enjoy the view. A cabal of gulls search the tidelands for chow but only four ducks, all local harlequins, fish the bay.
We are between lows, a time of busted weather that comes after the latest low has exhausted itself against our mountains. Soon, maybe tonight, a new storm will bring us snow and the return of winter.