Back in the Rain Forest

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Just back from California and reunited with Aki, I lead the little dog down the rain forest trail. It’s early morning but we have missed the blink of sun that often comes at the start of a cloudy day. No one else has walked the trail yet so we have good bird watching. The persistent trills of thrush bird song dominate the other forest sounds and the tall, yellow skunk cabbage flowers grab the eye.5

It’s early spring in the rain forest so the alders are just leafing out and tiny pink and white lantern flowers hang from trailside berry brush. Yesterday, spring was ending in California where her green hills were turning golden brown. There, harbor seals were pupping. Here that’s a month off.2

When we reach the water, scooters, harlequin and golden eye ducks hug the beach. Just offshore the eyes, nose, and forehead of a harbor seal appear above the water. Judging the seal the lesser threat, the birds move away from the beach.

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None of the instruments of Juneau’s industrial tourism invades the calm morning. Soon the dam and princess boats will tie up at the new downtown panamax docks. The first of a million tourists will negotiate gangplanks and line up for whale watching and helicopter tours. Then, the now peaceful Lynn Canal waters will be noisy with tourist boats, the skies with helicopters. Ah little dog, let’s linger in the calm a little longer.

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