This has been a week of little adventures. They started with the cutthroat trout, of size and caught in an unexpected place on an unexpected sunny day. Hooked while gobbling up silver salmon eggs, it served us for two dinners. Aki, it turns out, loves trout as much as her humans. A few days later Aki chased off a large black bear. We heard the bear the night before, banging away on a neighbor’s garbage can. I’ll be glad when he and his clan returned to their winter dens.
Today we walked on an aging boardwalk that climbs a series of mountain meadows to a Forest Service cabin. Aki started, in her usual fashion, by eliminating the residue of recent meals. Afterwards, she stood by as I captured her product in a plastic bag and threw it in a bear proof trash bin. This, her eyes seemed to tell me, was right and proper. Such a precious gift must be kept safe. We climbed the boardwalk, she guarding the rear, me watching a ribbon of fog float up from the meadow toward a mountain summit. A single cottonwood, still retaining its yellowing leaves, burned like a candle through the rising fog.