Revillagigedo Island looking out across the waters of Tongass Strait toward the ridges of the island to the west.

In the summer, it’s not storming, not snowing. The sky fills with steam-like clouds, the breeze is not cold.

The big red cedars (and hemlock, sitka spruce) at Settler’s Cove State Park: 6 – 8 – 10 stories high, centuries old, trunks—the main trunks twisted, leaning or scored, stripped and shorn of thick rough bark along great swaths of the central trunk (which is sometimes the broken ruined foundation of the remaining live parts of the tree), exposed woodgrain, heartwood flayed open, rotting in parts (a termite falls on me as I write these notes), the grain flowing and spun in flamelike whorls, deadened and grayed by time—the raw, rough, lapidary, scaly, bark gone gray, too and snapped and stubby lower branches hanging with moss, trunks and trees thrusting from the mulchy mossy hillside, there’s a whole forest of red cedar here.

One of them towers, magnificent, massive, limbs torn off, split down the center, heart desiccated, ejecting jagged spears of long splinters skyward, mats of sphagnum mosses on heavy dead lowest big branch and the tree is split in two, it’s basically two separate trees, the twin tallest spires are bare and dead, but surrounded by fresh green foliage fanned high and fresh against a calm gray sky, these upthrust, shattered, enduring red cedars signify what, saying what?

The railing on the bridge over the creek says, “Danice + hanna + Promise = my bitches. I  heart you guys!”

burnt cedar