Tuesday’s Gone with the Wind

By , May 23, 2018

What a day, Tuesday!

We started with a peek at the mountain tops across Lynn Canal. Like a Victorian coquette offering the briefest glimpse of her shapely ankles, the cloud cover rose to show us snow falling on the Coast Range.

Snow.

In mid-May.

Even in Alaska (our part, at least) this seems slightly extreme.

May snowfall

Fresh May snow on “The Mountain with No Name” (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

Views of the Coast Range appeared and disappeared throughout the day, which we could easily mistake for a day in March, as rain squalls rolled in one after the other, breezy downpours punctuated by weak sunshine and extensive patches of blue sky. We ran in and  out of the cabin all day, dodging the squalls, working outside when the weather allowed, regrouping in the cabin or the cottage when the rain returned. Now and then we’d stop in our tracks to admire unexpected rays of sunshine highlighting one or two trees deep in the forest.

At one point, I stood outside at the edge of the yard. All of a sudden, a swooshing sound enveloped me. I staggered in place, confused, until an eagle’s cry oriented me.

The day before, I’d noticed an immature eagle sitting in a tree about 30 feet above where I commonly stand a few times each day. This eagle may be about five years old, as it’s a “dirty tail,” almost, but not quite an adult (see “Dirty Tail”). On Tuesday, as it apparently enjoyed that same vantage point, an adult eagle “buzzed” it, swooping aggressively in such a way that the younger eagle fled, complaining as it went.

I assume that the older eagle tried to drive off a loitering offspring ahead of the arrival of the newest hatchlings.

‘Tis the season, after all.

About a week ago, a young cow moose showed up in the yard. She was so skittish that I scared her off the property by yelling at her from inside the cabin! Michelle hiked out to work a short time later, and recognized the moose’s distinctive coat on Mud Bay, in a neighbor’s garden (sorry, neighbors!). She likely got run off by a pregnant mother, who will drop this season’s calf soon, and can’t be bothered with last year’s child.

May snowfall

“LC Mountain” with May snow (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

Before the morning tide fell, I caught a beautiful Dolly Varden char, the first of the season. But, as I worried about it tangling my lure in the landing net, it fought its way loose, slid down the rocks, and escaped. Drat! I’ve got to straighten my priorities.

By the end of the day, the snow had melted away, no doubt rinsed by torrential rain squalls. We ate a good but fishless dinner. Then, Aly hiked out to spend the night in town against an early work start the next morning.

I seem to identify the days lately with classic rock tunes (see Goodbye Blue Sky). Like Lynyrd Skynyrd once sang, Tuesday’s Gone with the wind.

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