Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Monday, 16 July 2007

The Eagle Lady

Grewingk Glacier, Alaska

Jean Keene lives in an oceanfront campground on the Homer Spit year round. She is 82 and has been feeding the Bald Eagles since 1977. She feeds about 250 eagles a day from December to April. Jean loads her truck with barrels containing 500 pounds of herring and salmon every day. In summer, the yard of her trailer is a lovely garden. The Homer City council has granted Jean an exemption from the City ban on feeding eagles until at least 2010.

The kiss of the sun for pardon
The song of the birds for mirth
One is nearer God’s heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth

We are camped near Jean’s trailer on the Spit.

In the morning, we walk to the docks to catch our water taxi. The ramp is pretty steep when we leave at low tide, but it rises 24 feet by the time we return. There are strange things growing on the dock poles. They appear to be huge white flowering anemones. We ride 30 minutes and get off on a rocky beach and walk seven miles to our pickup point.

Along the way, we stop for lunch and see a small black dot fishing for lunch about a mile away. We convince ourselves that the dot on the bank is a bear and wish for binoculars. Mrs. Phred says she talked to a lady with a 500 power camera and we argue about whether that is possible. I think of Carlos, the Viet Nam sniper.

Grewingk Glacier feeds into a large alpine lake. There are icebergs melting in the lake and a small island covered with nesting seabirds about a half mile away. We take nap for about an hour and walk on to catch our taxi.

Pictures of the hike.

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