It was late winter when Aki and I first found the Mendenhall River swans. A family of four were feeding in the mouth of the River. After that we usually spotted the foursome while cross country skiing down the river. As the winter progressed we also saw true transient swans. They were jumpy compared to the resident foursome.
Last May, another Juneau hiker told me that the foursome spent the entire winter surviving in the winter river drainage In hopes of spotting them now, I lead Aki down the river, careful not to slip on melting beach ice. But we see no swans. We see no birds, no deer, only melting snow and falling rain.