Aki and I are walking above Gold Creek on a trail that could take us to the ruins of the Perseverance Mining District. An hour ago, fog filled the Gold Creek valley but it is gone now, burned off by sunlight. The little dog plays touch and sniff with other dogs. Strong, slanting sunlight turns the broad devil’s club leaves translucent and makes even dying foliage beautiful. All summer the plants in the valley have taken energy from the sun and necessary moisture from rain. Soon they will drain their leaves of color until the yellows, oranges and reds of fall have replaced summer green. Then the lovely leaves will hang for a week or two like an offering to the sky that nurtured them and a present to those of us who preserved through a long, wet summer.