It’s late morning when Aki and enter the Dredge Lake Forest. Sun lights up the tops of the surrounding trees but keeps our trail in shade. Because the grass stalks are young and soft, Aki grazes on them as we work our way into the troll woods.
On gray days, when rain water soaks the woods, I use the quickest path to pass through them. But today, cottonwoods are sending out yellow-green leaves that fill the air with a rich perfume. In a few days, the leaves will expand and thicken. They will turn a dark green. They will not long smell like perfume. But today, while the sun still rises, the temperature reaches 60 degrees, and the forest is full of singing birds, the little dog and I try to get lost on a little used forest trail.