Aki is home on Chicken Ridge, watching the lilacs and Apple tree shed their burdens of snow as the temperature rise into the mid-thirties. Here, at the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers, it is barely above zero. Snow slows pedestrians and several hundred Canada geese crowd a small section of open water.
On the inner bank of the flood control dike, a great blue herron stands motionless. It isn’t fishing. A coat of ice on the pond makes that impossible. No, the Hunter is just trying to survive. I wonder if this is the same herron that watched me last October when I pedaled after him on the trail to Asotin. I wonder if he will survive this rare cold snap.