Painting Fog at the Shrine


There is a “no dog allowed rule” in this cabin so Aki stayed home with her other human. The cabin is on the grounds of the Shrine of St. Theresa, which is north of Juneau. Outside of the cabin plein-air painters stand behind their easels. Some hold brushes. Others load oil paint onto a palette knife. Minutes before they had Pearl Harbor and fog-shrouded mountains beyond as their subject. Now a wall of sun-charged fog obscures everything but a beach in the foreground. This is enough for most of the painters to work with. The others head back to their cabin for coffee and community.


I walk on a trail that leads south along Favorite Passage. Golden eye and harlequin ducks hunt the outflow of a small salmon stream for smolt. Beyond them, more diving ducks fish the deeper water. A rowdy Stellar sea lion rips up the water’s surface.


The fog thickens briefly and then melts until only a strip along the shore of Shelter Island has survived the sun.



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