Aki and I are heading up Basin Road on this soft and sunny morning. As we left home, Rufus hummingbirds worked our neighbor’s feeder. Other neighborhood birds—dark eyed juncos, robins, warblers, and the rest of the songbird gang—ate and sang. It’s a morning that can make you believe that the sun will always shine, birds never stop mating and singing, and the cottonwood leaves will never lose their translucent luster.
A realist, the little dog knows what is coming for us from across the Pacific Ocean. Another rainstorm will be here in a few days, washing away interesting scents and mudding the trail. While I am content to dawdle, Aki carefully catalogues message left her by other dogs.
On the southern slope of Mt. Juneau, mountain goats are making the most of the weather, chomping down succulent new growth of the tough trees and scrubs clinging to the steep hillside. Like migrant workers following the harvest, the goats will move higher and higher up the mountain until spring reaches the summit.