Early this morning, while crouching next to our kitchen heater, waiting for the coffee pot to finish its waking magic, a local radio announcer promised listeners a day of wind, rain and snow.
For three hours I expected first snow, then rain to blur our house windows. But the sun flooded the neighborhood, making spruce trees throw shadows onto the moss-covered roof across the street. We might just have enough time to walk to the mouth of Fish Creek while the sun still lit up the glacier and mountains rising on the other side of Fritz Cove.
This close to the shortest day of the year, much of Douglas Island sits in gray light. But on clear winter days, unblocked sunlight brightens the snow covered mountains on the mainland, making them almost too bright to view from Fish Creek.
The little dog and I walk across a creek bridge still slick with winter ice and cruise through a grey forest towards Fritz’s Cove. Normally, I’d be frustrated by the flat, dull light and the lack of birds. I’d be aggravated that we can hear the cries of hidden eagles and another bird of prey but not see them. But when we reach a spit that offers views of the glacier reflected in the creek waters, the absence or presence of birds no longer seems to matter.