Walking through this dark, dripping forest makes it hard to look forward to New Year’s Eve. Blame the big spruce and alders that joined the other wind fallen during 2014. I walk by their shattered corpses, wonder at the wind that sent them crashing down and remind myself that future forests will feed on their rotting bodies. I pause and honor the past’s year’s human dead and resolve to read the obituaries of people I never knew.
Aki breaks from the frankly morbid woods onto the beach where many dogs have walked in 2014. She ignores the raft of Barrow golden eye ducks working the off shore shallows and can’t see a pod of Dall porpoise hammering herring in deeper water. The back backs of the small cetaceans form a field of rocks that form and disappear until I try to photograph them. Behind, a bald eagle gives what sounds like a derisive cry before the porpoise disappear for good. If the downed trees caused me to reflection on the past, these harvesting animals encourage a hopeful look to the future. They already prepare for 2015.