Winter’s Last Stand

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe drove almost 30 miles north of Juneau to find skiable snow. There is still lots of in the forests and on the meadows drained by Eagle River.  Under a light rain we started through the woods, alone. Aki found no dogs or other people to play with, no squirrel to chase. I found no tracks in the snow except for those left by dogs and their people on the weekend.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn this northern battleground, the winter of 2014 made its last play—dumping snow during the weekend storm that hammered Juneau town with rain. Lovely but futile, like the Polish calvary charge at the start of World War II, the new snow won’t stop Spring’s blitzkrieg. Clumps of grass already push up through the meadow trail, and rain melts down the forest’s cover. Aki and I climb a low hill to watch the river freeing itself from ice, then count the puzzle pieces of ice stranded by the tide on the meadow. Two Canada geese make enough noise for a regiment when flying down meadow. Soon the river will fill with swans, geese, and other migratory waterfowl refueling on their northern migration, as spring prepares the ground for summer.

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