Rare Summer Crossing

“Life is not all beer and skittles, little dog.” My words fail to convince Aki to follow me onto the meadow. I should not be surprised. This most stubborn dog has never tasted beer or played skittles. I backtrack and carry her thirty or forty meters away from the graveled path. She looks perturbed as I set her down. When her legs don’t sink into the muskeg she relaxes and begins to follow her nose. 

            Mountains surround us, now summer green. Usually by now the summer rain has turned the meadow into a wet sponge. So, we don’t step onto it until winter has frozen it and whitened the mountains. But little rain has fallen since last winter’s snow melted. 

Normally the mountains draw all my attention when we cross this meadow. This morning my eyes are draw to the little plants and berries that glisten with dew.  It is going to be a good year for bog cranberries, which won’t ripen for another month. Now they are pale and hard spheres lying on wine-colored moss. Insect eating sundews grow between the cranberries, their mouths open to capture flying bugs. The sundews have taken over the meadow like an occupying army. I wonder if this is their long established territory or a recent invasion. 

Two snowshoe hares will cross our path. Each will freeze at the edge of the trail long enough for me to appreciate their chestnut coats. Distracted by pee mail, Aki will see neither. When we will near the place where one crossed the trail, I will have to wait for the little poodle-mix to study the scent left by the hare’s feet.   

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