Category Archives: fireweed

Not Spoiled Yet

 

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Aki, you’d think I’ve been too spoiled by natural beauty to be wowed by a borrow pit.The little dog gives me one of her “don’t stop gushing again” looks.

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The poodle-mix and I are walking on top of a dike pushed up by men miring for gravel. The “U” shaped dike has captured a small pond by connecting to a length of gently sloping meadow.  A beaver family has already colonized the pond. The big rodents’ earthworks killed a small copse of spruce trees on the opposite shore of the pond. It’s the reflection of these skeletons on the pond’s surface that’s gob smacked me.

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Alder trees, gilded by backlighting morning light add to the show as does the dissipating globs of mist that hover just above the pond’s surface. When I walk without taking my eyes off the scene, I slip and fall where river otters have installed one of their “U” shaped slides. It’s pretty clear that nature and its wild children have claimed ownership of the old barrow pit. Tough skinned spruce roots snake over the top of the dike. Cow parsnip, fireweed, and the other aggressive forest plants color the dike with whites, yellows and reds.

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Little dog, let’s hope that nature never loses the power to repair our messes.

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Fireweed

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We just said goodbye to two of other’s humans at the airport. They will be back in a few months. Now we are on a trail that traces the outline of the runway. It’s noisy with jets and prop planes taking off and landing. Some of the prop planes have floats that allow for water take offs and landings. One of these is just lifting off from the floatplane lake, carrying mail and passengers to one of the rain forest villages without a runway.

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The ebb tide has reduced the river and exposed large sand bars. An adult bald eagle lands on one of these. It starts to head over to a dark object and then stops, acting like a burglar afraid of being caught in the act. It freezes until we move, starts again and then stops when we stop. After a minute of this the eagle slow walks over to the dark spot, which turns out to be a fish, wraps in its talons, and slowly lifts skyward.

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All the trailside fireweed plants have gone to seed. Most of their seed down still clings to their stalks, ready to ride on the next strong wind. While I try to take a picture of the white down complimenting the red and orange fireweed leaves, Aki tears down the trail after another of her humans. Then she turns and runs full speed back to me. Sometimes all four of her tiny feet are off the ground.

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