The snow seems to have vanished from the glacial moraine, uncovering dead grass, bare blueberry bushes, bones, and a scattering of feathers. Aki finds the feathers fascinating. The bird that sported them must have died near winter’s end. The little dog rarely shows an interest in old feathers.
The lake is now ice free, if you don’t count icebergs recently calved by the glacier. Some sail like boats across the lake. Most have come to rest in the shallows. Most look white after escaping from the glacier. The older ones crystalize into super-clear ice. Then, they melt away.
I wish Aki had the patience for kayaking. If she did, I’d be on the lake right now, making the long paddle to the glacier’s foot. After beaching the boat, the little dog and I would look for translucent-blue caves in the melting ice. I usually make such a visit in early May, before the cruise ship tourists arrive.
This year, cruise ships will not their usual disgorge their usual million tourists onto the Juneau docks. They have cancelled all sailings to Alaska. Aki, the other locals and I will have the moraine to ourselves. I’ll have the pick of summer days to paddle out the great river of ice.