We woke this morning to blue skies. Sunshine reflecting off its surface made it difficult to look down Gastineau Channel. The weather service warned that the clouds would return in two hours. Aki had already had her breakfast so I quickly finished my coffee and we headed for the car. We should just have enough time to hike to the upper Hilda Meadows before the sun disappears.
Nagoon berry blossoms and dwarf fireweed color portions of the lower meadow magenta. Other spots are yellow with buttercups or just a lush, mid-summer green. Aki helps herself to water when the opportunity arises, wading in chest deep to soak her gray curls. I stop worrying about her overheating.
The steep trail brings us quickly to the upper meadows on the steep. I start photographing small fields of bog laurel and shooting stars before the sun disappears. As Aki lingers in a stream of snow melt, I look for yellow avens or white lady tresses orchids. But the place is dominated by the magenta-colored bog laurels.
In years past, Aki has hesitated to follow me onto the meadows. On those trips my boots made a sucking sound each time I lifted one from the boggy ground. Today my boots are quiet and she just trots along. I assume this is because the meadow has dried out. Many of the tiny bog ponds have been reduced to mud. This makes no sense because last month we experienced a near amount of rain. Has the fabric beneath the meadow has lost its ability to keep the water from draining down to bedrock?