The wild roses that scented my bicycle rides down this trail last summer are forcing me out of the ski track. I’m in Alaska’s big city while the little dog is back home in the rain forest, resting up from a ski trip with her other human. Morning sun is burning holes in the dense, freezing fog that settled over town last night. It sets the birch trees sparkling.
I’m heading toward the small creek delta where a pair of sandhill cranes hung out last summer. They and the rest of the summer vistors have gone south where there is warmth and food. This is the season of cold and simple clarity. Only the everpresent ravens remain to make noise.
Recent tracks of a moose cross the trail at the creek. I wonder if they were made by the animal I saw yesterday afternoon munching on a birch tree in a suburban yard. Since moose are rare back home, I stopped, gawked, and took photographs. The locals drove on by, ignoring it like they might a homeless person.