Fire and Ice


A translucent skim of ice covers this trail through an older section of the moraine. Enough time has passed since the glacier’s retreat for cottonwood trees to grow tall. Branches of the trees prevented snow from accumulating on the trail’s surface so I’d expected to be walking on bare gravel. The filmy ice is a surprise.


With her sharp little nails, Aki has no problem trotting down the ice. I’d be slipping and sliding without my ice cleats. Tiny globes of ice have spaced themselves along cotton wood twigs and sprigs of dry grass like stung beads. The ice spheres glow when illuminated by low angle sun then begin to drip. Suddenly, Aki and I are walking through a shower of melted ice falling from overhead tree limbs. This solves the mystery of how a layer of ice formed on the gravel trail.


We drop off the moraine and onto a beach of gravel and glacial flour. I’m hesitant to walk across the beach and onto the frozen lake. But Aki charges onto the ice. I follow and start walking until the ice cracks. I return to the frozen beach. Aki trots back to join me on solid ground. Too early for that, little dog.


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