Dances

4

This morning a family of mountain goats feed near the shoulder of Mt. Juneau. Aki tugs at her leash as I try to watch then through my telephoto lens. From other trips, I know that the goats start each day down the mountain in areas where fresh greens already think it is spring. The noise of people and dogs on the trail seem to drive them to the higher elevations. So I shouldn’t be surprised to find a clump of snow-white fur on the trail near a large patch of emerging ferns. It could be from a dog except it isn’t greasy like a northern bred’s at the end of winter. It doesn’t have that stale, doggy smell. It smells heather-like, maybe like a just-broken willow twig.

1On our return trip down Basin Road we pass under two eagles in loose formation. I wonder if they are the pair that I watched mate yesterday from our upstairs’ window. Unlike the loose, play-like flight of today, they flew like predator and prey. One pursued the other who repeatedly escaped pursuit with abrupt turns. Finally they hooked up—literally. With talons locked, they formed a spinning sphere that that tumbled toward the state capitol building. In seconds they broke apart and climbed back into the sky. Seconds later they resumed the hunt.

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