A Little Gift


The little dog and I are pulling into the Fish Creek trailhead parking lot. And as if nature thought we deserved an early Solstice gift, it is not raining. Aki, you just never know what climate change will bring us. The pastel pinks of sunrise color mist rising off the pond. As if to gild the scene, a heron flaps through the mist to land on a pond-side spruce.

5The weather guys forecast heavy rain for tomorrow, which makes this break in the storms that must sweeter. But it is not all beer and skittles for the little dog. A shotgun booms across Gastineau Channel making Aki cringe and look back to make sure I know what I am doing. The gunshot drives a gang of Canada geese into a noisy flight. I wonder if they are giving warning or hurling curses down upon the hunter.


It’s a day for finding bones. I almost step on a slim seal bone and later spot the large leg bone of a moose. Eagle feathers littler the beach grass. All these things were deposited here by a powerful flood tide.


It is also a day for crows. The Juneau murder must have roosted in the small forest that at the end of the Fish Creek spit. They spill out over the water of Fritz Cove, their black bodies looking like music notes inked onto the mottled sky.


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