Aki darts back and forth and then down a trail that crosses the glacial moraine—a target rich environment for dog scents. This time of year it should be covered with snow. The Mendenhall River should be silent under a layer of ice. But it’s 40 degrees F. and has been well above freezing for several days. Heavy rain has washed away the snow.
The little dog and I walk along the edge of Moose Lake, which is still iced over. A thinner skim of ice covers the flooded sections of the old river trail. On a sunny day like this, I have the right to expect to see the reflection of Mt. McGinnis in the surface of the ice-free river. The river is ice-free but turbulence from the recent rain has clouded the water with silt. I snap a few photos knowing that they will all end up in the digital trash bin. A heron flies past with its long legs held straight out. I snap away knowing that the bird is too far away for a detailed picture.
I have to face the sun to return to the car. It warms my face and enriches the view by crisscrossing the band of riverside willows with back shadow lines. Beauty and comfort are here to enjoy. All I have to do is stop whining about the absence of winter.