Fading Fall


On his rainless day that started with full sunshine that faded to gray when a cloud bank moved in off the Pacific, Aki and I have the moraine to ourselves. I suppose that is not quite true. There are squirrels chitterling challenges at the little dog. The silence we would otherwise enjoy is broken by fast fired rifles booming out from the nearby rifle range.


Aki rolls in some fresh beaver scat as we walk through one of their clear-cut areas. Water backing up from one of their larger damns floods the spot that offers the best view of their lake. But we don’t see the big rodents. Two Barrow golden eye ducks, spooked by our presence, burst off of the lake but some return to the surface. In a few moments they calm down and swim slowly in front of where we stand. They clearly intend to claim possession of this lake, at least until the first hard freeze.


The lakeside cottonwood trees and willows still possess most of their leaves but that will change during the next windstorm. Already their leaves are closer to brown than autumn yellow.


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