Summer is powering ahead in the rain forest. Necklaces of white sorel flowers decorate the bells of forest spruce trees. Maidenhair ferns, already unfurled, wave in the lightest wind. Midway up a large spruce a woodpecker chips off chunks of bark which clatter through the tree’s branches to the ground. The sound encourages Aki to move on toward a muskeg meadow.
Cloudberry plants on the meadow are already setting berries. In between them heather-like lingon berry flowers bloom. All the meadow flowers and grasses glisten with newly fallen rain.
Aki sniffs her way to the beach, now exposed by a negative low tide. A gathering of eagles announces us. The little dog wants to sneak back into the woods. But the causeway to Shaman Island is exposed so I carry Aki onto it. On a sunny day you can see the glacier and the Douglas Island Ridge from here. But Payne’s gray clouds block all that this morning.
In order to return to the forest trail we have to walk under a spruce tree occupied by two very young bald eagles. A mature eagle roosts above them like a watchful parent. The young ones, recent from their nest, look at us with their pale-green eyes. They are so large and fierce looking, I can’t convince myself that they hatched a few months ago. Like the flowers, the eagles can’t afford to waste a day of summer.