Messing About

Today’s plan called for the little dog and I to walk along the shore of Mendenhall Lake. But, thanks to glacier flooding, there is no exposed lake shore. Instead we must explore the nearby forest grounds. 

            Aki is fine with the detour. For some reason, she doesn’t enjoy our lakeside walks. While she sniffs and pees on some trailside brush, I notice that rose-shaped growths have formed on the ends of some of the willow wands. Most are green. One is managing a reddish blush. Somewhere deep inside these willow roses burrows an insect. Like sand in an oyster, the little critter irritates the willow into folding its leaves until they mimic a flower. Aki has no interest in this small wonder so we move onto a trail that circles a small pond.

            We can hear a mallard quacking that is hiding in a jungle of reeds. Current from small watercourses entering the pond has formed narrow paths through the reeds. What fun Water Rat, from Wind in the Willows, would have paddling his little boat along these reedy paths. I wish that I could find a human sized path through giant reeds. There is nothing–absolutely nothing–half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.

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