Waiting For the Storm

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Aki and I are trying to get in a rain forest walk before the promised Christmas blizzard. A gentle breeze caries the scent of snow but otherwise it is just another flat-gray December day. I stop to photograph muskeg water over white ice on the beaver pond. Light filling the space between standing spruce animates the tea-colored water and brightens moss clumping on the limbs of a half-submerged deadfall.

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When we reach the beach, the little dog and I find the birds jumpy. Harlequin ducks are quick to flight. The ever-present raft of surf scoters paddles close to the beach rocks. I suspect the eagle that flies towards us from Shaman Island. But the big bird veers off course when it spots us. Even in its absence the birds remain alert. I watch the scoters as the wind rises, looking hunting sea lions. None appear. Beyond, a band of darkness slides over the Chilkat Mountains and moves down channel toward Juneau. I know it is already snowing heavy in Hoonah. Soon we will have the permission to be lazy always granted by a storm.

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