Thursday, August 27, 2009

Be Careful What You Wish For


Over the course of the summer I have lamented the lack of rainfall that we have had. While it was wonderful to wake up every day to sunny skies and to view the glorious sunsets that we enjoyed every evening, none the less we do live in a rain forest and the lack of rain was starting to have an impact on the vegetation. Frankly, I was worried that there wouldn't be enough water in the streams for the salmon to make it up to spawn. I watched one sow brown bear with a cub pacing back and forth across the rocks at the mouth of a small stream bed in Lisianski Inlet a few weeks ago. They could plainly see dozens of pink salmon jumping in front of the stream right in front of them, but they couldn't reach them. The salmon didn't fare any better. They were responding to that ancient need to procreate and were waiting in the inlet for enough water to make it up the stream, but there was none. Well.... there's no problem with that now. For the past few weeks we've had rainfall in amounts that would make ship builders smile. For the most part I'm glad. We really needed the rain. I have to admit though, that a steady stream of wet, cloudy, foggy, gloomy weather can wear on a person after a while.

While I don't mind having to wear raingear when I'm out in the cockpit cleaning fish, and occasionally when I'm eating taco's (the Mexican version of Sloppy Joes) I don't like to have to wear it to walk to the store or the harbor, but that's the way it's been lately. I have to admit, that through some fluke of nature it actually stopped raining for about ten hours yesterday- just long enough for a new crop of blood thirsty insects to hatch and start feasting. I even saw the sunshine for that short reprieve and was encouraged enough to mow the lawn- something I hadn't been able to do for several weeks. With all the rain the grass turned green and was rejuvenated. It was one of the only times I wished I'd had a goat. At least then I would have seen the hidden treasures that my neighbors dog had left in the tall grass. As it was, they weren't evident until I had already run over them with the mower. Of course as you can imagine, I wasn't filled with kind thoughts for my neighbor or her pet. Ah well.
While the rain is somewhat depressing after a while, it's the wind that has kept me housebound for the past few days. Small craft adviseries and gale warnings have been the normal for the past week or more and I'm really getting tired of it. I need to be able to get back out fishing. The summer troll season will end on September 20 and so far it hasn't been that great. I need to try and salvage what I can before it ends, but I'm not going to risk my life to do it.
The picture above is an area on the main land called Home Shore. I have to take the boat across Icy Straits to get to it; about an hour and a half ride if the weather is cooperative. As you can see the clouds can descend all the way to the water and sometimes it gets so rainthick you can't see what's in front of you. Here and there I could spot seagulls on the water pecking away at the gas filled bodies of dead pink or dog salmon. I guess a few of them must have made it up the creeks.
In any event, we've gotten the rain we needed in copious amounts, and if it would just balance out a little so that we could enjoy a few more days of sun before the summer is over, that would be just fine with me.