For millennia salmon has been our lifeblood, touching every community with it’s nutrition. This has been a hard summer. The fish have been scarce all over Alaska with the exception of Bristol Bay. We hope that our salmon are not disappearing and that this summer was just an off year. Our salmon have to contend with many obstacles to make it home to our streams: warming waters, hazardous wastes, plastics, pollution, and becoming by-catch of fishermen fishing for other species. Once they get here, we make sure the escapement for spawning is sufficient for future years. Our subsistence foods feed our physical nutritional needs, but also fill our cultural needs; one is just as important as the other. (Turn the sound down…that is just our constant wind drowning out the sound of splashing salmon.)
Already the 22nd of October and we are heading into the cold and bluster of fall. It is definitely warmer than our falls and winters up until five years ago. I am still hoping for some late blueberries, and, of course, I still need to pick moss berries and cranberries. The never ending cycle of subsistence waits for no one. Especially if they take a small vacation. It was fun while it lasted.
Sometimes, just below the surface, life happens. It roils and spins with a purpose that we, simply put, cannot truly understand.