Sometime during the past century a country and western singer made a lot of money by singing “The girls get prettier at closing time.” Lack of experience prevents me from evaluating the truth of this statement. But I find myself singing the song to Aki as we walk through the Treadwell Ruins.
A fast moving storm slammed into Juneau last night, blowing away the patch of high pressure that had provided us with four warm and sunny days. So we are taking advantage of the shelter from wind and rain offered by the cottonwood forest that has grown up over the ruined town. The Treadweel cottonwoods, alders and willows leafed out during the warm spell. They preshow the beautiful colors the trees will show next fall. Each leaf is unmarred by insect, disease; undarkened by exposure to the elements. For the only time in the year, the cottonwoods fill the air with the smell of balsam.
Ground plants and shrubs won’t ever look as pretty as they do now as they unfurl their tiny leaves. Fiddlehead ferns uncurl their tightly wrapped stems. Even the shaggy cow parsnips look pretty this time of year.