Familiar Woods

It’s good to be back with the little dog, walking known trails with few dangers. Bears and mosquitoes are only things to worry about on this morning’s crossing of the Troll Woods. We do find a fresh pile of bear scat stained blue of a breakfast of blueberries. So Aki and I don’t walk through thickets of berry brush. 

            I lead Aki to the edge of a lake for a view of the glacier and practicably stumble on two mallard hens. Seconds ago they had been nestled in a grass verge. Aki watches them swim away but does not make a sound. I think about yesterday’s mallard mother that had remained erect and exposed on the edge of the beaver pond. The presence of a heron and eagle prevented her from swimming them out of our reach. We were her lesser evil. 

            It’s not all beer and skittles in the Troll Woods for me this morning.  But the things diminishing my experience are more irritating than evil. We walk through one cloud of mosquitoes after another. As usual they ignore Aki so they can hover around my head. But thanks to my bug off shirt, they little pests can’t land on me or bite. 

            I wish I had a shirt to protect me from the fluffy willow seeds that drift down like snow in July. The smallest bits irritate our eyes. Larger chunks form a white skim on the lee sides of the lakes. 

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