Eleven days ago, Aki trotted in my tracks as I skied along this shore of Mendenhall Lake. Today I’m walking. Ice still covers the lake but it will soon rot away. Winter won’t return for at least six months. The robin that just flew off confirms that.
As we walk the edge of an ice-free bay that reflects Mt. McGinnis, I’m struck at how move vivid the reflection is than the mountain. No longer burdened with occluding ice, the lake water sharpens the lines of the mountain and even those of the gray clouds that threaten to swallow it.
My observations don’t interest the little poodle-mix or the mallard drake preening on an off shore rock. The duck takes no notice of our passage to the Mendenhall River where swallows bob and weave for mosquitos. Four tense merganser ducks watch us from shallow water on the opposite side of the river. Later, as we round a pond, we will see a bufflehead drake try to drive off another while the hens huddle in a nearby patch of open water. Clearly spring, with all the sexual tension it brings, has arrived on the glacial moraine.