Last Crisp Day of 2016

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Nature’s timing is off this weekend. Rather than prolong the wet, gray storm that washed though the rain forest for much of the last week, the sun returned on this last morning of 2016. At 8:30 it started a low arc over the Douglas Island ridge and plunged behind the mountains about 2 P.M. Even through a playwright would have scheduled sun’s reappearance tomorrow, when the New Year begins, I’d rather end the year with a day of crisp light rather than one dominated by flat gray. It reminds me that 2016 had sparkle as well as darkness.

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Before the sun can disappear, the little dog and I climb to Gastineau Meadows where we look from shadow at the bright-white flanks of Sheep Mountain and Mt. Juneau. The meadow crossing gives Aki a chance to demonstrate her ability to scoot across the top of the snow pack even though as one of my legs plunges through the crust every four or five steps. Early this morning several deer and many snowshoe hares had crisscrossed the meadow, leaving tracks on last night’s snow. The deer had the roughest passage but even their slender legs didn’t pierce as deep as my size 10.5 boots.

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