Fall has drained most of the color from the tideland meadow we crossed this morning. Grass and sand now dominate the scene. Even the Herbert Glacier, wedged in a mountain gap upriver, lacks attraction under the gray sky.
One wolf left a description of his passage over a sandbar—stalking steps, a leap, quick turn after escaping prey, then purposeful exit into the woods. A mile away a bear ripped up beach grass in search of roots. We followed the path he broke through waist high grass to the spot, now stripped to the sand dune below. At least he made a meal of it. Given Aki’s recent aggression toward bears, I stopped often afterwards, scanning the beach and meadow for a black hump moving in a digging rhythm. Nothing stirs the grassland until a raven lands. Just before moving into the spruce forest we hear Canada geese being flushed from the tidelands—the only discord over a land going to rest for winter.