Monday, February 7, 2011

Standing For A Long Time

Behind the radio station in town is the channel and the mountains.
Late last summer I parked in the radio station parking lot, stepped precariously down a rock embankment, and walked alongside a creek that feeds directly into the channel and watched the adventure that is salmon spawning.
It was the first time I had ever seen it and I was amazed at the sight of thousands of single-minded salmon trying valiantly to swim upstream to spawn before dying.
Hundreds of seagulls flew overhead and above the creek, and deformed and dead salmon lay rotting on the river bed.
Today was nothing like that day.
It was a very beautiful and sunny day today.
So beautiful that everything glistened - the snow, the ice, the sky - everything shone back at me in an unbelievable spectacle of reflection.
I took the picture above in back of the radio station after a meeting this morning, and before heading down the side road beside the station to take pictures of the channel............

Last time I was here on such a sunny day I took a picture of a very beautiful eagle who was resting comfortably on top of this same post.
Today this seagull had made it a temporary perch, and he stayed in one place during my visit.
Watching me intently the entire time but feeling secure enough to stay put.............
There are many many grey days in Juneau.
But when the sun shines this beautiful city is nothing but spectacular.
I have never seen such a beautiful city.  Such a beautiful place - so isolated - and so quiet at this time of year when the city is still deep in hibernation and has not yet woken from its long winter nap.
So many different and rich shades of blue in the sky and in the water and even up in the mountains..........
I have never seen this barge before.
Close to the fish hatchery is a scrap metal place, and I have to believe that this barge transports that metal.......somewhere.
I don't know where, but when I see these types of ships they remind me of my fathers' ships.
He was a merchant marine, spent his entire life at sea, and spent his entire life working on much larger ocean-going ships than this one.
But the very nature of this hard working and utilitarian barge, and other ships just like it, inevitably remind me of my father.
Over the years he made half hearted attempts at shore jobs. 
They never stuck.
He always felt compelled to go back to sea.............
The Juneau Empire office building, located directly across the street from the fish hatchery.........
Again with the beautiful.
On such incredibly clear days it is almost as if everything in front of me reflects off of everything else - the sun off the water off the snow off the channel off the ice off the sidewalks off the mountains off the sun..........
To the right of me were many storage containers that had been barged to Juneau.
Packed and stacked together like over sized and colorful Lego blocks waiting to claimed by individuals and businesses...........
I had planned on working out after work tonight. 
A treadmill running or stair climbing or stationary biking workout.
I walked out of my office, made one last work related stop to look at a piece of equipment I was contemplating purchasing, climbed into my truck, headed down Egan Drive away (thankfully) from the city, and recognized instantly that I had neither the physical nor the emotional energy to work out.
It had been a Monday.
All day.
As I made my way towards the Valley I looked to the west and saw the beginnings of a very lovely sunset.
I alternated watching the highway and watching the sunset, and wondered if I would be able to make it to Auke Bay in time to take some pictures before the sun disappeared beneath the horizon.
I made it to Statter Harbor and was gratified to see that I had made it in time.
When your world is spinning out of control you take some small measure of gratification in small successes.
I stood beside my truck, looked out over the water, looked up at the sky, and tried to slow down my heart and my head.
I stood there for a long time and took these pictures...............
I stood there for a long time and took these pictures, before climbing back into my truck and driving home........

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