Sheep Creek

ore house

I have forgotten how new yellow-green cottonwood and alder leaves bring back to the Sheep Creek Delta some fall glory. Turning away from the show, Aki and I watch some migrants working in salt water near the beach. The workers, a small raft of green-headed northern shovelers move with a casualness that none of the local birds dare to show. This is a rest and refuel spot for the visitors who must soon return to their migration to central Alaska.

shovelors

A shaft of sunlight hits the rust red sides of an old ore building and the green wall of cottonwoods behind it. Thick curtains of clouds douse Juneau town with rain while across channel sun shines down on the mine ruins of Treadwell. Is nature trying to teach us something with these contrasts? More likely we witness the disparities delivered by a metrological toss of the dice. If we are being punished for our sins, they must be of overindulgence rather than violation of a spiritual rule—the overuse of carbon releasing machines like the seiner moving up channel or the car I drove to et us here.

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