Back in the Rainforest

2

Aki looked happy when we met yesterday at the Juneau Airport. I was. Today, on a morning that promises sunlight, we might be the first of the day to walk the Rainforest Trail. Just minutes ago, a brindle-coated marmot dashed across the road, making me wonder whether the act was a sign of good or bad luck. Aki gave no opinion. Now, while she surveys the grounded smells, I notice how far summer has progressed since I left for writer’s school.1

All the remaining blueberries are either ripe or close to that goal. Insects have sculptured the leaves of the other understory plants. Those stressed or damaged are already fading from summer green to fall yellow. On the beach, purple beach pea blossoms dominate now that the lupines are setting seeds. Tall cow parsnip plants, having already flowered, are drying into brown skeletons. Sparrows burst in and out of the wild parsnips, collecting food for fall.3

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