First Snow


This morning snow has made Juneau’s streets slick so the little dog and I are leaving the car parked. Instead of a trip out the road, we walk down to salt water and catalogue how many plants have been caught out by the storm. All the ones in our yard have gone to ground except the Sitka rose. The rugosa, developed in the Southeast Alaska town of the same name, still has some green leaves to catch the new snow.


Aki is a bit frantic in her sniffing, as if she fears the snow will wipe out the pee mail system before she has time to check it for messages. This slows our progress down to the channel. There the snow obscures our view of Douglas Island but not the bronze statue of a breaching humpback whale. It looks like is about to leap onto the Douglas Island Bridge.


Aki throws on the breaks when I try to lead her onto the new tidelands walkway. So I carry the little poodle, a pathetic bundle wrapped in a red sweater, under one arm and soldier on. Her strike ends after I set her back on ground on a sidewalk we have used before many times. Just below us, a bald eagle with the white head and tail of a mature bird seems to sulk as snow whitens the brown feathers on its back.


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