In the northern rain forest you don’t measure high summer by heat but by the progress of salmon and the ripeness of berries. We must be there because eagles and ravens line trees along salmon streams while king and dog salmon fight for space on the spawning redds. Along this trail through the old growth woods ripe blue berries confirm the season. I harvest my first while Aki waits just down the trail.
The berry, grown on a bush fertilized by decayed leaves, tastes more bitter than sweet. I decide to leave the rest to ripen and move down the trail. After this first act of harvest I only have eyes for plants that bear fruit rather than beauty. Aki, wanting to reach the beach ranges far ahead while I stop often to check for ripeness.
The tide is well out when we reach the beach. A eagle complains loudly then flies over our heads being pursued by a single diminutive crow. An army of other crows fill the beach side trees and range over the exposed tidelands searching for food. Knowing they will actively resent our presence I lead Aki back into the woods to further measure the progress of summer.