In the Dark Looking out at the Light

P1120538The weatherman promised cold temperatures, sun, and 40 knot winds. For once he was wrong about the wind. It usually appears with the sun in December. This pleases Aki, who thinks the wind rude to blow on days with a hard frost. P1120566

Today I find the beavers rude for flooding out yet another of my favorite trails. We need this one through the old growth forest to access a beautiful North Douglas Island beach. They are using the trail as part of their new dam. Water seeping from it forms a glaciated surface on the trail that makes walking impossible without some sort of ice aids. Already water backing up behind the dam climbs the trunks of living trees. If nothing changes the trees will be soon dead. Still, I can’t get myself to dismantle the mortarless portion of the dam to stop the damage. Must remember to always wear ice cheaters on winter visits to the beach.

P1120543On the beach, a gang of gulls float close to the beach. They appear to ignore the little dog and she ignores them. (Have they reached an understanding?). We stand in shadow on the beach but can see the low angled sun strike Shaman Island, Lynn Canal, and the mountains beyond. The contrast brings out the beauty of dark and light.  A light wind rises to drive small waves onto the beach. They splash water on  rocks already iced over by yesterday’s waves, giving them a sinister beauty. Aki, discouraged by the rising wind tries to lead me into the comfortable woods. I linger, still hoping for whales. “You are probably right little dog,” I tell her, “too late for whales.”  On the drive home I see my whale, a humpback, grabbing a snack in Smuggler’s Cove. Is he topping off for the long swim to Maui or one of the non-breeders who stay the winter?

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