First Light

1

The sun rising over Gastineau Channel this morning makes Juneau look like a tropical paradise by flooding the tidal flow with orange light. Aki and I know the truth. Its early January in Alaska and the temperature is yet to rise above 12 degrees F. We head north out the road to visit a large meadow where wolves hunt, beavers sleep through the day, and otters play.

2

My skis barely crack the crusty snow that covers the meadow. Aki just trots on top of it. The snow won’t be a challenge for the little dog. She dashes about, checking the pee mail. I break through a screen of willows to reach the beaver’s home stream and then follow the tracks of a single wolf to their door. Aki sniffs tracks made by the beavers last night and heads further up stream.

3

Several nights of clear, calm, and cold weather have allowed frost feathers to build on the meadow’s alders, pines, and spruce trees. The feathers on a nearby stand of trees flash from inanimate gray to flashing prisms when struck for the first time by the early morning sun. I pull off my mittens and make many attempts to capture the richness and sparkle until my hands numb. If I my hands are cold, what about Aki’s unprotected feet. But the little dog seems fine. She doesn’t even lift a paw off the snow while she waits from me to return to the skiing.

4

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s