Monday, September 1, 2014

"In the Community Garden" by Mark Doty

"Sunflower Field" by Hyatt Moore

It's almost over now,
late summer's accomplishment,
and I can stand face to face

with this music,
eye to seed-paved eye
with the sunflowers' architecture:

such muscular leaves,
the thick stems' surge.
Though some are still

shiningly confident,
others can barely
hold their heads up;

their great leaves wrap the stalks
like lowered shields. This one
shrugs its shoulders;

this one's in a rush
to be nothing but form.
Even at their zenith,

you could see beneath the gold
the end they'd come to.
So what's the use of elegy?

If their work
is this skyrocket passage
through the world,

is it mine to lament them?
Do you think they'd want
to bloom forever?

It's the trajectory they desire—
believe me, they do
desire, you could say they are

one intent, finally,
to be this leaping
green, this bronze haze

bending down. How could they stand
apart from themselves
and regret their passing,

when they are a field
of lifting and bowing faces,
faces ringed in flames?

"In the Community Garden" by Mark Doty, from Fire to Fire. © Harper Collins, 2008. 

Trout Lake Report: The Final Trip of August

You go back to the channel. It's another windy day, and you trace the long shoreline into the south end throwing a muddler. You can't find any fish.

Halfway down you tie on a bead head Woolly Bugger and begin to troll your way across the lake.

Halfway across you get a strong take and net a fat Rainbow.

You switch to the muddler again and start down the other shoreline. You get an explosive hit but no hookup.

The wind dies away and a few fish are rising. You can see Callibaetis in the air. You tie on a Callibaetis dry and cast to rises. After awhile you get a take.

That's pretty much it. There are risers, but there's a long time between rises. You stick with the mayfly dry, and just at dusk you catch one more fish. It's not the worst day you've ever had, but you hope that the arrival of September will stir things up.

Trout Lake Report: An August Ritual Comes To An End

You've come to love the trips to the inlet. It has become an August ritual.

The water level continues way down, and the wind on this day is way up.

You share the north end with a pair of Ospreys, and a pair of Eagles that periodically try to run them off. As you're crossing the lake this bird passes over you, plunges into the lake right at the inlet, and rises with a good-sized trout in its talons. You wonder if it's a good sign.

But when you get there the fishing--your way of fishing--is slow.

The wind moderates and rises bloom here and there. Small trout. You catch more than enough on a Callibaetis dry.

The Ospreys seem to be outfishing you. Their fish seem to be bigger, too.

You find a bigger trout working in two feet of water. He isn't coming up very often, but when he does you can see his dorsal and tail flash in the evening light. He's not big, but he might go a foot. You go for him.

He resists your efforts for a long time. You keep catching little guys instead of him. Finally, you strip in the Callibaetis dry as seductively as you can, and he breaks. It's a lovely take, and a pretty little fish that feels like a trophy.

Very little happens after that--except for the activities of the Ospreys and the Eagles, and another raid by the Otter family.

You wonder if the days of the inlet are over, if the water is finally so low that the risk for bigger fish is finally too great.

You kick back to the truck thinking it's time to explore other areas of the lake. It's been a good run at the inlet. You'll miss it.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Alaska's Inside Passage

Looking for a pretty place to go? My brother Pete recently took his family on a cruise through Alaska's Inside Passage, and he could hardly wait to share these photos with the rest of us. Since receiving them, I could hardly wait to share them with you.

Meet you there.

All photos by Peter Albright. Thanks, Pete.


Mendenhall Glacier

Mendenhall Glacier, Nugget Falls


South Sawyer Glacier, Tracy Arm Fjord

Friday, August 29, 2014

Trout Lake Report: The Inlet Continues to Give

You can't stay away.

This is why. Another Brown comes off the flats and rips into a Callibaetis dry.

The evening had promised calm weather, but a storm comes stalking out of the west.

At first it makes no difference, and there's a flurry of rises.

But then the wind increases, starts to swirl, puts the fish down, and finally blows you home.